The company sells a range of different trackers themselves 8211; Tile Pro, Tile Mate, Tile Slim (and several older models) 8211; as well as working other Bluetooth-enabled devices, for example headphones.
In the case of headphones, you won8217;t need a separate Tile tracker for it, the system will run using the device8217;s native Bluetooth hardware 8211; which is known as Find with Tile, as long as that technology is supported.
There are 26 million Tiles out there, with 6 million location requests every day 8211; and Tile reports that it has over 90 per cent of the US Bluetooth tracker market 8211; so its a pretty expansive system.
As we8217;ve just mentioned above, Find with Tile expands the Tile system beyond just its own trackers. It enables other Bluetooth devices to be included in the Tile ecosystem, meaning you can find and locate those devices just as you would a Tile tracker.
For example, there8217;s support from Bose, meaning you can register the SoundSport headphones in the Tile app and you can use the app to find those headphones. There8217;s nothing to add to the hardware, it8217;s all software-based and uses the headphones existing Bluetooth chip and battery.
The Tile location system uses that BLE to connect to devices 8211; all it needs is Bluetooth and some battery life. When a device is in range, you can simply open the app on your phone, tap the Tile and find it 8211; the Tile then plays a tune so you can find it.
If you8217;re out of range you can see the last location that was registered (which is taken from your phone8217;s location at that time), so you can retrace your steps to find that lost item.
But there8217;s also a much bigger community play here. If you8217;re no longer in that area, you can tap the button to notify you when your device is found and the rest of the Tile community comes into play. When your lost item is detected by another Tile user, the location is passed back to you.
It8217;s all anonymous, so you don8217;t know who detects your item and they don8217;t know they8217;ve detected your item, you will just have the location passed back to your app so you can go and find your missing possessions.
It8217;s using this wider community that Tile has a big advantage 8211; if you live in any sort of urban or suburban area, there8217;s likely to be thousands of Tile users around you 8211; so locating things you might lose becomes easier. As the community grows through more partnerships, the density of the Tile community will increase, again boosting the likelihood of your missing item being found.
The system also works in reverse 8211; you can use any Tile to find your phone with a double press of the button.
There are two sides to this question. Firstly, Tile can run in software form when it knows what Bluetooth hardware is in a device. Going back to those Bose SoundSport headphones, for example, it was a software solution added when the headphones were already on sale.
These companies are among the biggest Bluetooth providers in the market and this means that if a company is manufacturing a new device 8211; a fitness tracker for example 8211; they can opt to have Tile location as a feature of their headphones as it8217;s natively supported by the Bluetooth hardware. Nordic Semiconductor, for example, is used by Garmin and Polar, so could feasibly offer Find with Tile in future devices.
Locating your devices doesn8217;t stop with your phone, however. Tile also has partnerships with Google and Amazon, meaning you can use Google Assistant or Alexa to find devices too, meaning you can use your voice. You can also use Siri Shortcuts.
Tile will also be supporting Assistant Connect, which is Google8217;s feature that allows interaction without using Google cloud. In this instance, you8217;ll be able to locate a Tile using your Google Home or Nest Hub and no information needs to go via the cloud 8211; it can be point to point within your home.
Using Amazon Alexa, for example, you have to enable the Tile Skill, sign-in to your account to link them up 8211; then you can simply say 8220;Alexa, ask Tile to find my keys8221; it will find and ring the device on your keys.
There8217;s a bigger home play with Tile too. Comcast is both an investor and partner in Tile and yes, Comcast8217;s set-top boxes can also be used for Tile functionality, searching for lost items from your TV.
For the UK, since Comcast has bought Sky, it8217;s likely that the same functionality will expand to Sky8217;s own set-top boxes in the future. Not only could that help for locating something you8217;ve lost in the house, but helps expand the Tile network across domestic locations to again widen the net of the Tile community.
Most of the Tile functions are available to you without paying anything extra 8211; it8217;s covered in the cost of buying the device in the first place. But there is a subscription offering with a Premium tier, which unlocks some additional features.
- Unlimited sharing of Tile devices with friends of family
- Smart Alert to inform you if you8217;re leaving home without something you normally take
- 30-day location history so you can see where you Tile has been
- Free battery replacement for the Tile Pro or Mate
- 3 year warranty on your Tiles
- Premium customer care
What about Apple8217;s Find My service?
Although Apple hasn8217;t made any announcements about a tracker, this would be entirely separate from Tile8217;s system. Potentially, it would serve Apple users perfectly well (as it does for iPad or iPhone tracking for example), but whether it would ever be extended to non-Apple hardware, we simply don8217;t know.