With the lost and found tracking space likely to become crowded over the next few months, Tile is reportedly working on a new device that could help keep the startup at least competitive against Apple and Samsung. According to TechCrunch, the company is developing a tracker that will use ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, instead of Bluetooth, to help you find lost items. UWB is a relatively new short-range wireless communications protocol that has a handful of advantages over ubiquitous Bluetooth. Its high frequency waves can transmit spatial and directional data, which makes it more accurate to estimate the location of something.
It has so far made its way into several newer phones. More particularly, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 support protocol through Apple U1 chip. Certain Android devices, such as those from Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Galaxy z fold 2, also include UWB. Along with the new tracker, Tile would develop an AR function in its app that will guide you to the device. Concept art TechCrunch obtained from both the tracker and the AR function gives an idea of what they will look like. In short, Tile is unlikely to reinvent the wheel here when it comes to tracker design, but the AR search experience seems like a useful addition to the company’s app.