Lost and found trackers — tiny Bluetooth devices that can give your smartphone a ping if you forget the thing they’re attached to — are useful little devices, but their future was never as standalone tech. Late last month, Tile announced their Smart Location Platform, a new business initiative that will see their trackers included in new handbags and wallets, along with just about anything else you might lose.
It makes perfect sense — Tile’s trackers are so small, they can easily be put into other products with ease. While Tile trackers don’t have their own GPS chips, the Bluetooth connection with your smartphone allows them to record and save their last known location, helping you to reclaim your lost item. But, there’s always the slim chance that the tracker can get separated from your item — that’s what will change with Tile’s Smart Location Platform. They’ll be working directly with other companies to build Tile tracking tech into other products. Not only will the tracker never got separated from your item, in some cases you’ll never have to worry about the tracker’s battery dying, since it’ll draw power from any electric product it’s built into.
One of the first examples of that is EcoReco, an electric scooter. Recharging the scooter means keeping Tile charged, making it unnecessary to buy a new tracker after a year or two of use. Instead, the tracking tech is inside the scooter, and that’s it — it can be connected to and monitored using Tile’s app straight away.
Other launch partners include Nomad, which makes smartphone and wearable accessories, and Zillion, which makes smart wallets. Nomad has launched an external battery pack with Tile tracking tech, while Zillion has added tracking to its smart wallet, which includes an external battery pack and a charging cable.
But, more extensive Tile integration is farther into the future. For now, the vast majority of stuff doesn’t have embedded lost and found tracking, so you’re going to need the separate Tiles. Fortunately, Tile also just announced the Tile Slim. It’s the same as the regular Tile tracker, just much thinner at 2.4 mm, so it can be more easily slipped into wallets or stuck onto laptops or tablets. Tile Slim is available now for $30 or in a four pack for $100.