The upcoming Apple AirTags are supposed to bring with the U1 ultra wideband chip present in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12. The U1 AirTags will offer better tracking capabilities than normal Bluetooth would; this means that Tile, the main competitor of such tags, should catch up and rival what Apple plans to remain competitive in the market.
According to a new report, Tile is currently working on new item trackers that will use augmented reality that will help guide users to their lost items using the Tile mobile app. Apple is also said to be working on a similar solution, and there are chances that AirTags could also use augmented reality to find the lost items or devices.
Tile is Preparing New Item Trackers That Will Make Use of Augmented Reality and Ultra Wideband for Better Item Tracking.
So far, the products that Tile offers rely solely on Bluetooth, which is good, but it is not as accurate as UWB; the latter is inherently better as it can collect spatial data. This is what the report has to say,
Because UWB offers spatial awareness capabilities, it will be able to locate missing items inside or outside, even when you can't hear the tracker's ring. This could help when the missing item is buried under something -- like a sofa cushion -- or inside something like a dresser drawer, for example. It can also help to find items more easily in a larger space, like a house with multiple floors.
The Tile app, meanwhile, will allow users to launch to an AR-enabled camera view that will help to guide them to the item's location using overlays, like directional arrows and an AR view of the item's location.
There are already phones available in the market that do support the ultra-wideband. Namely the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12, but in addition to that, some Android phones also have support for these, which means that in the future, the support for UWB based Tile trackers is going to become more and more common.
The new Tile trackers should be released later this year, and they will be compatible with both iOS and Android devices.