I dare to say that you are always searching for your own items like your little wallet, airpods, Apple watch or something like that. So, whether you had thought about something that there could be an intelligent device which could easy to find your little items. I must say that most of you have thought about it. It could be a big demand market. Apple had tried to design such item.
There are a lot of rumors about the device, but as far as now, the official just give a name about it, which is called “Airtags”. We can see from the name – tags to guess what kind of usage it is. Tags means that attach a label to something, so as to Airtags is to attach a electronic device to something, and because the electronic device could be traced, if you tag it to something, you will find your items as soon as possible.
You might still get confused what the specific functions Airtags are. So I would like to summary the rumors on the internet so far.
1. What’s the Main Functions of Airtags?
The main functions of Airtags are as follow. It could help you track your device, maybe most only for the electronic device, but for anything that could be taged with Airtags. You can check in “Find My” search service for many items you have taged, and it can accurately locate the item within a few inches. Maybe in the future, it will support AR technology and use Apple’s ultra wideband U1 chip for directional search, providing reminders when leaving items.
At present, the ”Find My” search service can only be used for Apple’s device. For example, if you lost your airpords, airpods pro or apple watch, you can find them in your “Find My” search function, and there would be location of your Apple device. Because the accuracy rate can be improved if you are locating your Apple device on “Find My” service.
When the devices are not nearby, the “Find My” app can show users where they are on the map, but sometimes it only shows the location of the last device. This is because the “Find My” application has a prerequisite for accurate positioning: the device has been started and is online. If this premise is met, it will display the current location of the device, otherwise it will display the location of the device when it last met the premise, which often makes it unable to present the accurate results that users want. For example, Appleinsider has seen that the location reported by airpods Pro is about a quarter of a mile away from its actual location. Test results show that this seems to be related to the strength of Wi Fi signals and cellular network signals, which must be strong enough to report the latest location data.
Apple has improved this problem by developing its own ultra wideband (UWB) U1 chip, allowing it to locate items more accurately. Ultra wideband (UWB) is a kind of wireless communication technology with low power and high speed in a short distance. It can communicate with nearby devices like Bluetooth. However, different from Bluetooth, this technology can transmit more data by sending pulse signal at high transmission rate. At the same time, it also has more accurate distance positioning and position detection.
2. Airtags are not Limited to Apple Device
However, Apple is not the only one who are contribute to searching device. There are several searching device on the market, Tile and Adero. The Tile sticker is a small black sticker with a width of only 27mm, or slightly more than a quarter. It also has a completely waterproof design and a strong adhesive that can be fixed to the camera, laptop or any other objects you stick. Adero is the first smart organization system, basically packaging your backpack, wallet or anything into a smart bag, with the goal of never leaving what you need. And Adero systems have Bluetooth tags that can communicate with each other through easy-to-use applications.
But Airtags is more intelligent than other searching devices. The reason why Airtags is a further product is that it can not be used to track the device itself. It is the device that the user will track later. In other words, the user searchers the items placed with it through the location of Airtags. It will be stand-alone, very small hardware device that can be carried around or fixed anywhere, attached to an iPhone, in a bag and in a car. Apple’s sysetem will track Airtags instead of items with Airtags, so they can be placed on anything. But it also means that thieves can take them off anything, so it’s not foolproof.
But how Airtags find thing? When you need to find items with Airtags, you can use app to make Airtags sound like Tile. When you are closer to the items, you can display them on the app. When you accidentally forget something and have left, you may also receive a reminder on your mobile phone because the distance between the objects becomes larger. Thile can also provide a similar function – sending a notification to a user’s mobile phone to remind them of something they have forgotten to bring, but Tile offers it as an additional subscription service. Another possibility is that Airtags will be able to support AR, thus users can use the iPhone to look around the room, and nearby Airtags will be diaplayed on the screen.
3. Privacy Protection
Actually, Tile company is mature enough on this searching filed, but once Apple launched Airtags, users around the world will notice the new product. However, Airtags can also raise security concerns. People may be tracked for having Airtags in their clothes, which will bring new thinking on how to take safety precautions. In terms of technical security, Airtags will be private, and Apple may specify that it prevents others from detecting and using its own Airtags, but it is not clear how this will be implemented.
All in all, the current news about Airtags is very detailed, but it is not clear why Apple has not official released this product. So when the Airtags is released, will you buy it?