Review: Tile (bluetooth tag)

Tile was the first crowd funding campaign that I supported. My money would actually result in the finished physical product being shipped to my door and this seemed like a gadget I would use. I had to be patient though – still being in the design stage, it would be over 12 months before I’d hold a Tile in my hand.

Tile packaging
The Tile packaging – simple, effective

The concept is straightforward – the Tile gives anything a Bluetooth transmitter to help you find it if it gets lost. Perfect for keys, wallets, your dog, maybe your car. The device is small, stylish, water resistant and tough and is designed to last for 12 months before expiring. Bluetooth devices need power and the internal battery cannot be replaced or recharged.

So after registering a Tile using the app (Android or iOS with Bluetooth 4, your phone or tablet enables you to play a sort of ‘Hot or Cold’ game ( until you locate your device. But you’re going to need to get within 100 feet (30.5 metres) of the lost thing for the Bluetooth signal to be in range. The Tile also has a little musical chime which can be activated when it gets into range, helping you zone in on your item.

Tile app registered tiles
Registered Tiles shown in the app.

The really cool part of this app has a couple of downsides though. If you tell the app that a Tile-carrying thing is lost, anyone’s Tile app will generate a notification to you if they come within range of the lost thing, telling you where it was spotted. Crowd sourcing for lost stuff with no extra effort! But now for the downside … they need to have the Tile app running. And it’s not the sort of app I’d start on my phone every morning and leave on … unless you’re the sort of person who never closes apps. The other downside is the effectiveness of this is purely dependant on how many other Tile users roam around in places where you might leave stuff. Even in a big shopping mall, I’m not sure how many Tile users I’d actually find running their app in my Australian suburb. You can invite people to download the free app without them needing a Tile though, so you might have to it up your family, friends and workmates to help expand the Tile community.

In reality, I’ve found that the size of the Tile limits where I’d use it. It’s actually a bit too big on my small dog’s collar. And the 5.6mm thickness makes it too obtrusive to stick to my TV remotes. I’ve placed one in my car, on my keyring and in my wallet but it would be too bulky in my husband’s wallet (that’s already full of cards & gets carried in his back pocket). The thought of a Tiled umbrella is pretty cool though ( with the Blunt version only shipping to the USA & Canada, I might just stick a keyring hooked Tile onto my cheap brolly. When travelling, I’d certainly throw one in my passport holder and luggage. Imagine standing at the airport luggage carousel with your Tile app! It would also be great for rental cars, especially when you are used to searching a packed carpark for your own black SUV when you’ve actually rented a white sedan.

Tile size
A Tile with an Australian $2 coin

A Tile with an Australian $2 coin

The registration steps are pretty easy to follow, so you don’t have to be an IT whiz to make your Tiles useful:

Add a tile Tile Recognized Name your tile Add an item photo Activating Tile

To get Tiling, visit


NB: Sadly, this was not a sponsored post. 🙂

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