FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
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Hands-on review: Tile tracking device
Mon, 18th Jan 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

As a man there are three things that I check before I leave the house. Mobile phone, keys and wallet. No hand or man bags for me. Although sometimes I go to leave the house and I can't find one or other of them.

If you're like me you've seen online advertisements for this small device called a Tile. It's almost like a square plastic coin, that promises that you can avoid the hassle of losing things ever again.

Well I got my hands on one and I have to say I'm mightily impressed.

First you need to download the App, which is available for iOS and Android. Then you pair your tile to your phone. This happens across Bluetooth and has a satisfying bell sound that comes out of the Tile when all paired up.

Bluetooth is the way that Tile communicates with your phone. Tile works on a low power Bluetooth mode, because it has no replaceable or rechargeable battery and the creators wanted it to last many years. They mention 1 year but I know of users who had theirs for longer.

So if you lose a device and you're in the 10 metre bluetooth range then it's very easy, just open the App, mark it as lost and you'll find it quickly. A bell will sound from the Tile to make it easy to find.

If you aren't in the range then you still mark it as lost in the App but then you'll need to walk around the house and when you come into the zone for it, your device will be found and the alarm sound will go off.

Last option for a lost item is community find mode. For example if you left your keys in a Taxi, then when another tile user comes within the range of it, their Tile app will send you a message saying it's found. Our TechDay office is in Ponsonby, Auckland, NZ. Within my area there are just under 500 Tile users, so if I lost something it won't take many hours or days for it to be found again.

The Tile App on your smartphone also acts as a Tile. So if you've lost your smartphone then you can use a computer to locate it quickly just as easily.

You can attach your tile to virtually anything, it has a loop cut out of its white plastic body, so perfect for keyrings, chains etc.

Although once you've got yourself set up and it's saved your bacon a few times then you'll probably get more for your bike, boat, car, wallet, laptop bag etc.

This is a superb product, well designed, easy to setup and brilliantly simple. Well done to the folks behind Tile, it's a life saver.