- Odd News
By Margot Peppers
PUBLISHED: 16:10 EST, 28 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:20 EST, 28 June 2013
If you have an annoying habit of losing things, a new device that can be attached to any object and located with a smartphone app may be the solution to your problems.
The Tile, a matchbook-sized square linked up to your iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth, lets you see how close you are to the missing item, within a 50 to 150-foot range.
And even if the item travels out of this range, other smartphones with the same app can also detect it, and an alert is automatically sent to you if they have it in their range.
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Lost and found: With the Tile App, you can attach this matchbook-sized square any item, and track its whereabouts with Bluetooth via a smartphone app
Tiny technology: Each Tile costs $18.95, and you can link up your phone with up to ten Tiles - which will be available for shipping starting this winter
Each Tile costs $18.95, and you can link up your phone with up to ten Tiles - which will be available for shipping starting this winter.
When you log into the app on your phone, it shows you, with green bars that increase or decrease, how close or far away you are from the tile.
You can also program it to emit a beeping tone when you get close.
The most interesting aspect of the app is its reliance on crowdsourcing; indeed, the website deems it 'the world's largest lost and found'.
It allows you to share your access to Tiles with friends, and to log into your Tile app from anyone else's smartphone, and locate the Tile from there.
Am I getting warmer? When you log into the app on your phone, it shows you, with green bars that increase or decrease, how close or far away you are from the Tile
Crowd-sourced: If your Tile goes out of your own phone's 150-foot Bluetooth range, you can set it as a 'lost item', which automatically puts all other phones with the app 'on the lookout' for your item
And if your lost object - a wandering dog, for example, or a stolen bike - goes out of your own phone's 150-foot Bluetooth range, you can set it as a 'lost item'.
The Tile is linked up to your smartphone app via Bluetooth.
It has a hole in it that makes it attachable to a keyring, and a double-sided adhesive that lets you stick it on to different objects.
When you log onto the app, it tells you how close or far away you are from the Tile, within a 50 to 150-foot range.
If the Tile goes out of this range, you can set it as a 'lost item', which automatically puts all other smartphones with the App 'on the lookout' for your Tile.
If another smartphone detects your Tile, a message is sent to the Cloud, which then alerts your phone to the Tile's location.
This automatically puts all other smartphones with the Tile app 'on the lookout' for your item.
If any of these phones comes within range of your item, a message is sent to your own phone, alerting you to its location.
The app also has the function to remember where it last saw your Tile, so that you can easily find where you left it.
Since the Tiles use Bluetooth rather than GPS, they never run out of battery or need to be charged, and they last for one year before needing to be replaced.
And even though the app uses the Cloud to alert you if your Tile is detected by other smartphones, this doesn't give other people access to your account.
'The Tile team takes your security seriously,' states the Tile App website. 'Only you and the Tile users you've explicitly shared your Tiles with can search for your Tiles.'
The app, which launches this winter, works with iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad Mini, iPad 3rd and 4th generation, and iPod 5th generation.
WATCH: The Tile App - never lose things ever again