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  1. Tile’s Upcoming New Ultra-Wideband Tracker to Rival Apple’s AirTags Amid growing reports of Apple’s long-awaited AirTags item tracker releasing later this year, Tile is gearing up to introduce a new and improved tracker this year that will leverage ultra-wideband (UWB) technology to locate the missing items, TechCrunch is reporting. Rumoured lost-item trackers releasing in 2021 from the likes of Apple and Samsung are also expected to take advantage of UWB, which is a short-range, wireless communication protocol similar to Bluetooth and WiFi but operates at very high frequencies. It can be used to capture spatial and directional data. According to the source, Tile’s upcoming new tracker will also use augmented reality (AR) to help guide users to the lost item’s location via the Tile mobile app. Based on Tile’s internal concept art for the device (shown above), Tile’s UWB model will look similar to its other small trackers, like the Tile Mate and Tile Pro. It will also have a square shape, center button and flat back to support being mounted using an adhesive. And like other Tile dongles, it can be attached to a keychain. Tile is expected to release the new tracker later this year with support for both iOS and Android devices. Pricing for the upcoming ultra-wideband Tile tracker is not known at this time. Source: Tile’s Upcoming New Ultra-Wideband Tracker to Rival Apple’s AirTags
  2. Tile brings its lost item-tracking service to wearables with Google Fitbit deal for Inspire 2 owners Lost item finder Tile, the maker of the popular Bluetooth-powered tracker that can help you find your misplaced keys, bag, wallet or more, is bringing its tracking service to a wearable device for the first time with the launch of its Fitbit partnership. Starting today, all new and current Fitbit Inspire 2 users will gain access to Tile’s Bluetooth-finding technology at no extra cost, the company says. As a result of the deal, existing Inspire 2 users will soon be prompted to update their device’s software via the Fitbit app, which will make the new Tile feature available. Once updated, users will be directed to download Tile’s mobile app for access to the lost item finding features. From the Tile app, Inspire 2 users will then be able to locate their misplaced Fitbit when they’re within Bluetooth range — for example, if the device has been lost somewhere inside their home. If the device is further away, users will be able to tap into Tile’s broader finding network which leverages the Tile app installed on all Tile users’ smartphones. When anyone with the app is near the lost item, its location is shared back through the network to the original owner. At present, Tile says it’s locating up to 6 million unique items per day across 195 countries. Tile’s service is made available for free to Fitbit users and other customers, but it monetizes through a combination of device sales, in-app subscriptions, and other partnerships. The Tile Premium subscription will also be available to Inspire 2 users as an optional upgrade from within the Tile app at $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year. This service, originally targeted towards Tile tracker owners, includes free battery replacements for Tile devices, access to 30-day location history, item reimbursements, and smart alerts that remind you when you’ve left home without important things. “Now with Tile technology, we’re adding even more convenience and helpful tools to Inspire 2, our accessible, easy-to-use activity and sleep tracker,” said Larry Yang, Director of Product Management of Fitbit Devices at Google, which finalized its Fitbit acquisition in early 2021. “We’re excited to partner with Tile so our users can focus on building healthy habits without worrying about not being able to find their misplaced device, with the potential to bring Tile’s finding technology to more Fitbit devices in the future,” he added. Image Credits: Tile Tile’s partnership with Fitbit is now one of over 20 partners who are leveraging Tile’s technology in some way across audio, travel, smart home and PC categories. And while technically Fitbit is the first “wearable” partner, Tile has worked with others in the consumer electronics space, including headphone makers like Skullcandy, Bose and Sennheiser. The company’s ability to expand its reach through industry partners may become even more critical to its future in the face of new competition from Apple, and to some extent, Samsung. Apple has been developing its own Tile competitor, AirTags, which the company accidentally disclosed in a YouTube video last year. These will leverage both Bluetooth and newer ultra-wideband technology to more precisely locate lost items. Meanwhile, Samsung’s newest Tile competitor, the Galaxy SmartTag, will also come in an UWB-powered version later this year. This competition, specifically from Apple, could spell trouble for Tile, which has become a vocal participant in the U.S. antitrust investigations against Apple. The company has testified against Apple in congressional hearings about how its business has been negatively impacted by Apple in the past, and it pushed for third-party access to Apple’s “Find My” app as a means of evening the playing field between Apple’s upcoming trackers and its own. Tile also joined the Coalition for App Fairness, an advocacy group that’s now pushing for legislation to regulate the app stores in various U.S. states. Partnering with Apple’s competitor, Google (by way of Fitbit), could be seen as another way for Tile to shore up a position for itself within a key section of the wearables market before AirTags arrive. Source: Tile brings its lost item-tracking service to wearables with Google Fitbit deal for Inspire 2 owners
  3. Tile announces partnership with Intel to track missing PCs Integrations coming later this year Image: Tile Tile has announced a partnership with Intel to bring its tracking technology to laptops in order to help customers track down misplaced or stolen PCs. Intel will be providing “updated solutions” to OEMs later this year, which means we might start seeing Tile laptops in late 2020 or early 2021. Tile trackers connect, via Bluetooth, to a Tile mobile app, which you can use to check their location on a map (if they’re in Bluetooth range). You can also set off an alarm. (It’s quite loud.) If your tracker is out of Bluetooth range, you can ping Tile’s crowd-finding network, which will send you a notification with your laptop’s location whenever it comes close to another Tile device. Tile and Intel haven’t released a ton of details about how the Tile integration will work. Their main promise is that integrated Tiles will let you track PCs even when they’re in sleep mode. It’s possible that the specifics of Tile’s integration will vary by manufacturer. Intel says it is “working closely with PC manufacturers to determine the best Tile experience for their customers.” We do have one example already, though. Tile’s first shot at laptop integration — the HP Elite Dragonfly — was announced at CES 2020 and is already on the market. That notebook has a physical Tile tracker built into the device. The tracker has its own separate hardware, including a battery and speaker, which means it can operate and sound its alarm for a limited time even when the Dragonfly is off. It does draw some power from the system, but the impact on battery life is a matter of seconds, according to HP. The Elite Dragonfly is a pricey business laptop, so it might be nice to see it come to more affordable mainstream devices. Let’s just hope that the impact on battery life remains minimal in those cases, too. Source: Tile announces partnership with Intel to track missing PCs (The Verge)
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