Anyone Here Use A "Tile"?

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
6,513
As the name suggests this thing looks like a small tile.
It attaches to say a set of keys, and when you cant find the keys you use your smart phone to call the 'tile' and it rings and then you can find your keys.

I know someone who might really benefit from this as a gift so if anyone knows anything about this that would be great. Maybe something like how hard is it to get the required app and download and install and use it.

Thanks.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,102
My wife got one of those tiles with her latest suitcase purchase. But I haven't played with it myself or heard her mention it.
 

KeithWalker

Joined Jul 10, 2017
424
As the name suggests this thing looks like a small tile.
It attaches to say a set of keys, and when you cant find the keys you use your smart phone to call the 'tile' and it rings and then you can find your keys.

I know someone who might really benefit from this as a gift so if anyone knows anything about this that would be great. Maybe something like how hard is it to get the required app and download and install and use it.

Thanks.
Here is a link to AliExpress' page of "Key Locators". It will give you some idea of what is available. They are very inexpensive on this site but delivery is long (30 - 60 days). The ones with free shipping are the best buy. Amazon will probably give you shorter delivery but you will pay more.
https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=0&initiative_id=SB_20190422092428&SearchText=key+locator
 

Wolframore

Joined Jan 21, 2019
1,282
It's based on bluetooth... range isn't all that great but it will also give you last known location. I've heard that they can relay from one user to another to extend range. It's based on a BT chip with an M4 SoC. The 1 year runtime on one coin cell is impressive. They have new design that lets you change battery... first version was not replaceable. My buddy got some and I had to research... great idea. Looked like an easy app to use. It can ring both ways. You can use to tile to find your phone also.
 

btebo

Joined Jul 7, 2017
89
My girlfriend uses them on her 94 year old Aunt's items in her nursing home - keys, TV remotes, etc. They seem to work well. Life expectancy is about 1 year. But you do have to be near with your cell phone (bluetooth) to activate them.
 
I have played around with a couple. Most of them are just BLE beacons. You can see them using Nordic's nRF Master Control Panel (although they seem to have recently hidden the download) and similar BLE scanners.
 

Thread Starter

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
6,513
Hi,

Thanks for the replies.

So i guess they work ok and that was my main concern, but still not sure as to how they work with reference to the ringing.

Can only you ring them or can someone else with bluetooth access also ring them?
I thought it would be strange if all of a sudden one of your 'tiles' started to ring for apparently no reason :)
 
Consider two basic methods.

In the first, the Tile [edit: generically speaking, not the specific commercial product] is simply a BLE beacon. Your phone app simply scans for the transmission. If it finds it, then your luggage is near by and all is well. If not, then you have problems and the phone let's you know. This is the simplest device and will use very little power.

In the second, the Tile is a BLE peripheral device. Your phone (as the central device) connects to the app using a PW (very crappy security but n/m). Now, the tile notes when your phone has lost the connection (what might happen if it is too far away) and starts ringing itself, thinking maybe you can hear it and locate. But, it doesn't only ring on a lost connection, it can also ring on command from your phone, since the Tile is a peripheral device and one function it can have is to ring. This of course, is the better device and the one that will use the most power.

Location through signal strength is a little trickier and does not work all that well, IMO.
 
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