Every day, I spend an inordinate amount of time looking for three things – my keys, my glasses, and my cell phone. I’m sure that I’ve lost at least three years of my life looking for these items. I can usually find my cell phone pretty quickly because I use the Find My Phone app on my tablet. But the glasses and the keys are more problematic.
I once missed a flight because I lost my glasses in a hotel room. I spent an hour scouring every inch of that room until I finally found them wedged between the bed and the nightstand. I also locked myself inside the house for an entire day because I could not find my keys. I have deadbolt locks that need a key to open and without that key, I was trapped. I was finally freed from my captivity when my daughter arrived home from school. She looked at me, shook her head, and quietly questioned my parenting competency.
Those were not my most shining moments. In fact, they were downright embarrassing. Fortunately, those days are behind me thanks to Tile. The tiny plastic device (1.45″ X 1.45″ X 0.24″) pairs with the Tile app on your iOS or Android device to become your digital bloodhound.
To set up Tile, download the app and set up an account. Add a Tile to the account by firmly pressing the “e” on the device. The tile will play a sound indicating that it is ready for use. The Tile will show up in your app and you’re ready to go. The Tile app supports eight Tile devices.
Tile works by sending a Bluetooth signal from your phone to the device. As you get closer to your lost item, the app’s tracking circle fills in, giving you a clear indication of your progress. As the Bluetooth signal draws you near, Tile’s distinctive melody will play making it easier to locate the item even if it’s hidden out of sight. I like this feature, but I wish the sound was louder. I had a hard time hearing it over the TV and my children playing.
According to Tile, the device has a range of 100 feet. I tested this claim by having my daughter hide the device upstairs in my house while I attempted to track it from downstairs. Tile worked well within the stated range. In fact, I got a fairly strong signal up to 150′. Beyond that, the performance dropped significantly. If your lost item is beyond the range of the Bluetooth signal, don’t worry. Tile has you covered with their Community Find Feature that uses the power of other Tile users’ phones to help you locate your item. People who have downloaded the app will anonymously ping your lost item when they are near it and an alert will be sent to your phone with your item’s location.
My only disappointment is that the Tile doesn’t have a replaceable battery. However, Tile is working on a program where you get a better Tile after a year at a reasonably lower price, and they will recycle the old one.
I’m willing to overlook this quibble because of the peace-of-mind I get from Tile. No longer do I have to worry about getting locked in the house or missing my plane due to lost keys or glasses. Tile is a godsend for absent-minded people like me.