Tile is a Bluetooth Low Energy device that connects to the iPhone to assist users in finding lost items like keys, wallets, computers and more. The company is offering Tiles for $19 each via a Kickstarter-like preordering process.
The company has more than 18,500 backers and just passed $1 million in orders with 7 days to go.
The device uses Bluetooth LE to connect to supported iPhone and iPad models. If something with a Tile attached to it is lost — car keys, for example — the iPhone can show you the last place it remembers seeing the tile, and can also make the tile play a sound via a built in-speaker.
If something is lost or stolen, the system will have other Tile devices look for it and report back on its whereabouts.
Bluetooth Low Energy was introduced in Apple devices back in 2011 and made its debut on the iPhone with the 4S. The specification paves the way for a lot of interconnected devices like smart watches, health monitoring and electronic leash devices like the Tile.
Tile only supports the iPhone and iPad because of Apple’s strong Bluetooth 4.0 support — the company specifically addresses the lack of Android support in its FAQ:
At this time Android does not support Bluetooth 4.0. A few Android phone manufacturers have released BLE SDKs, however they are lacking in quality and stability. At Tile, the quality of our products is of utmost importance, and until there exists an Android platform that meets our quality standards, we will not be releasing a Tile app for Android.
Currently, Tiles are available for $19 each, though they will eventually be $25 each. A tile has a battery life of around a year and will need to be replaced after that time, though the company makes it easy to recycle them.
The preorder period will run for another week.