Being human means we lose stuff.…a lot. It is reported that we misplace over 3000 items a year and 60+ hours wasted in searching for all this stuff. Unfortunately that translates into billions annually. A San Meteo, California company is taking the worry out of lost and found with a little help from your friends…and perhaps even a few strangers.
TILE, Inc made another appearance this year at Pepcom 2016 during CES week in January, boasting well over 2 million tiles sold to date and growing. Mike Farley, Co-Founder and CEO is passionate about the product and future of TILE naming it as one of the fasted start-ups in Silicon Valley. Aptly named for its small (about the size of a silver dollar), white, squared shape. this device fits on key rings, bicycles, backpacks, golf bags, purses, luggage, briefcases, etc., etc. Or you can stick it to a variety of surfaces (computers to tablets and phones) with an adhesive backing (included). Just about on anything you may be prone to lose or known to lose often.
The practical applications of this device is well thought out and brilliant. With the assistance of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, the TILE pairs with your smartphone (iPhone or Android) to become a homing companion complimenting each other. Whether you lose your phone or keys, the TILE (attached to our key chain) communicates with your smartphone identifying each device’s whereabouts. The downloaded TILE app on your phone pings a BLE signal up to 100 feet out to the TILE device activating a beeping sound loud enough to hear from a relatively long distance. About 50-100 feet, depending on your hearing and whether the TILE is buried or hidden. At 90 decibels, the tone is a variety of chirps, beeps and rings recognizable to a wide range of hearing. A little dial on the screen indicates proximity telling you when you’re getting closer…and closer…and closer. (see video)
Likewise, if your phone is lost, you can easily push a button on the TILE and it will automatically activate the ring tone on your phone, even if it’s in silent or vibrate mode. The application is very user friendly and simple to set up. No complex instructions or diagrams to follow. You will have it paired and ready to use within a couple minutes at the most.
LAST PLACE SEEN
A really handy feature of the TILE location device is the ‘Last Place Seen’ mode. The TILE automatically notes the last known place you left your purse, wallet, bicycle or backpack, etc. The app on your smartphone brings up a map pin-pointing the last place your lost item was pinged by TILE before it broke proximity connectivity with your phone. Now you can retrace your steps back to where you left the lost item. A map will even give you the best route to take to locate it. Once you get close enough, you can activate the locator button on the TILE to zero-in on its exact location.
This is the ultimate Lost and Found tool where social media plays a clever roll in triangulating the exact location of your lost item that may be on the move. Say you leave your purse on a bus or your backpack gets stolen. By activating the ‘Lost Item’ button on your phone, a signal is sent out to TILE’s cloud based platform notifying other TILE owners of the lost items. If another TILE user gets within the BLE 100 foot radius of the item in question, an alert signal is pinged and sent back to the original owner as to its exact location easily seen on a map. It’s 100% private so that no one actually knows you’re looking for a lost item but you. Only the cloud community is on it behind the scenes.
TILE serves many uses in travel…especially luggage where so many pieces of baggage are lost each year. From ski equipment to camping/hunting gear to even high valuable cargo. TILE serves as added insurance and peace of mind. Want to know how close your luggage is to arriving at baggage claim? Turn on the TILE app and watch the progress of its proximity and delivery to the luggage carousel.
Another great function and application concept works well with the cruise industry. By using several devices on a cruise ship (One for each family member) you can easily keep track of each other, especially children. Simply attach TILE to your cruise ID lanyard, shoe laces, belt loops or just leave in your pocket. You will be surprised how many other TILE users there are out there that ping location off each other. The more consumers that buy and use the TILE device, the more connected the TILE community will be.
TILE could even take the game of ‘Hide and Seek’ to a whole new level and into the techie age. Even games like ‘Capture the Flag’, ‘Kick the Can’ and ‘Laser Tag’ could also enjoy a craftier mode of field games yet undiscovered.
COST and BATTERY LIFE
TILE has a suggested retail price of about $25. A pack of 4 runs about $70 at the time of this published review. No subscription is required for the location service on their cloud platform. Battery life generally runs about a full year depending on how often you use the beeping feature. Once the device battery dies, a convenient envelope is provided to send it back for recycling and a replacement can be had for about half price for as long as you want to keep implementing the program.
-Lightweight and small
-Well made construction and durability
-Large hole on the TILE for easy attachment to items
-Active cloud community that grows exponentially
-Easy to remember branded name
-Gives peace of mind
-Assists in location smartphones that don’t have a ‘find me’ option
-Reasonable price for a year’s use
-A bit thick for use in a wallet or attaching to back of smartphone, etc. Hopefully the next generation of TILEs will be thinner, perhaps with the assistance of flat Lithium Ion battery technology.
-Not waterproof. Do not submerge in liquid.
GIFTS and SWAG
TILE is truly the kind of gift that is practical and keeps giving all year long. You may not use it every day or even a lot, but when you need it, that one time when you lose something, will make it all worth it. Birthdays, housewarmings, college students as well as Christmas stocking stuffing are all excellent gift-giving opportunities. They come in multiple sets and less expensive in quantity.
Companies that need a fresh and innovative way to promote their brand may want to consider giving out TILEs at their next business event or tradeshow. Corporations are always looking for unique tchotchke give-away items. TILE will print your company name and/or logo on the front of their device for distribution. An effective constant reminder that is both useful and valuable. Not the same ol’ tired swag from last year. All the other companies will be green with envy.
Some of the best gifts are those that pay for themselves time and time again. Go to their site for more information and updated pricing. https://www.thetileapp.com