Whether you've heard of Tile or not, there's a chance you've used innovative site tracking technology at some point in your life. If you do not, this is likely to change very soon.
That's because the technology you may know about the company's physical Keychain-like trackers attached to your personal belongings to prevent them from being lost is available through a range of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) chip companies. including Qualcomm, Toshiba, Dialog Semiconductor and Silicon Labs.
In essence, this means that products that use the chips of the companies mentioned above integrate the cloud-based Tile technology. This will make it easier than ever for companies to use the Find With Tile feature on their devices.
This is something we've already seen in Sennheier headphones, including the new Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (2019), the Bose sound sports wireless headphones and the Skullcandy Venue headphones that allow users to find their lost headphones using the Tile App.
For Tile's Simon Fleming-Wood, Tobe's Chief Experience Officer, BLE integration will be hugely important to the company. "Over the next five years, an estimated 29 billion BLE-enabled devices will ship Firmware Update."
It is usually very difficult for Tile to turn to the manufacturers of these 29 billion devices, given the "starting resources," he said.
"Our chip partnerships will enable us to offer Tile technology at the chip level, which will allow us to scale these partnerships considerably," he says. In other words, you can assume that tile tracking will be integrated into more and more devices in the future, from headphones to smartphones to portable speakers. Essentially any gadget that has a Bluetooth chip.
Using Tile in headphones has been Fleming-Wood's most exciting experience so far: "Our partnerships with audio headset companies have been so exciting because timing Tile has become such an obvious need."
He continues, "Just as the category evolves into true wireless form factors that are both expensive and more susceptible to loss, there are now three elements to keep in mind: the left and right earphones and a charging case."
Although Fleming-Wood could not figure out which true wireless earphones might be equipped with Tile technology in the near future, it is clear that the company wants to look for a home in the world of Bluetooth headphones.
A number of true wireless earphones, which we can be pretty sure will not allow tile tracking, are the Apple AirPods. Why? Rumor has it that Apple is working on its own tracker to keep up with Tile.
According to MacRumors' in-house build of iOS 13, the allegedly upcoming Apple accessory will help you tag "your everyday items" and "never lose them again."
Everything you mark with one of these trackers – keys, wallets, backpacks, etc. – is reported to appear in the new "Find My" app that came with iOS 13. Here you can apparently track all of your Apple devices products, from iPhones to MacBooks.
So is Tile worried about the power of Apple looming on the horizon? Not everything, Fleming-Wood tells us.
"Tile has pioneered this category over the past five years, and has single-handedly increased its presence and consumer awareness with the resources of a growing startup. When a company like Apple launches a tracker, the category is validated for both customers and retailers, signaling that the category is becoming mainstream. "
Therefore, Apple's competing tracker could bring tracking technology to the public and help Tile promote its own devices.
In addition, Apple products will only make up about 4% of the 29 billion BLE devices that will ship in the next five years.
For Fleming-Wood, this means a great opportunity: "The other 96% are potential Tile partners who need Tile to compete with Apple Find For devices."
With the introduction of a series of new trackers designed to end the days of hunting for wallet, phone, keys and TV remote control, the future for Tile looks promising – whether or not an Apple tracker bothers the market.
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