Tile is a tiny Bluetooth LE radio that you can attach to anything. It’s not the first to do this, but it’s very small, very elegant, inexpensive and it comes with two key differentiators. First, it lasts a year and there’s no need (or ability) to change the batteries. You just exchange them for new Tiles at the end of the year.
Second, Tile taps the community of Tile app users to create a kind of universal lost and found. If any device running the Tile app happens across a Tile that’s been marked as lost, it will automatically (and anonymously) notify the lost Tile’s owner of its current location. Pretty cool.
We lose our keys and phones constantly in my family, so something like Tile solves a very real problem. If their Selfstarter crowdfunding success is any indicator we’re not the only ones. The campaign started on June 20th and they’ve raised over $1.2 million so far, with less than a week to go.
We interviewed Tile founders Nick Evans and Mike Farley to learn more about their product and their crowdfunding campaign.
Hack Things: Can you tell us a bit about what Tile does and what makes it special?
Tile: We invented Tile to make people’s lives easier. To keep people from losing the stuff that’s important to them, and give them back the time they previously spent searching for lost stuff. Each Tile pairs up with the accompanying iOS app which allows you to view the location of each of your items on a map. Using the Tile app, you can see the location of each item when it is within Bluetooth range (100-150 ft), see the last place your item was connected to the app if you forget something like your wallet at a shop or restaurant for example, and you can make an alarm sound on your Tile when you are within Bluetooth range to make it easier to find. If you’ve lost an item and it isn’t in the last place you think you left it, you can mark the Tile as lost, which will discretely and securely put all other Tile apps on the lookout for your lost item.