Tile’s Anti-AirTags Are a Safer Way to Track Your Items

Tile’s Anti-AirTags Are a Safer Way to Track Your Items

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Apple’s AirTags haven’t enjoyed the positive press the company likely hoped for. While the tiny devices are great for keeping tabs on the things in your life that often go missing (minus your kids), they’ve also sparked controversy, since stalkers have used them to track people. This is not cool. AirTags aren’t the only trackers on the market. They follow the lead of Tile, which seems to be trying something new in the tracking industry.

Tile has a long history of making tracking devices. The company was the first to create Tile trackers, years before Apple entered the market. Tile trackers are not the same as AirTags. They come in different sizes and styles to fit on keychains and inside wallets. Tile’s devices work just like AirTags but within the Tile ecosystem. Like AirTags, Tile trackers communicate with Tile apps.

Tile didn’t get the same media attention and criticisms because it works on a smaller scale. You don’t know if someone has Tile or not. AirTags can be used to make any iPhone a homing beacon. Tile has the same privacy concerns as AirTags. The company offers a simplified version of its product, QR code stickers.

Tile refers to them as “Lost and Found Labels”, but they are, in fact, QR code stickers. The Tile app activates labels by simply sticking one on the product you want to track. Once you have activated the Tile app, you can specify how you would like to be reached in case someone finds your item lost. This could be your email address or your phone number.

Unlike Tile trackers, they don’t need to have the Tile app to connect with you: All a good samaritan has to do is scan the QR code the same way they would, say, a restaurant menu, and they’ll have access to your chosen means of contact.

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The other benefit here over traditional trackers is the lack of battery. This might seem obvious since they are stickers. However, it means that you don’t have to worry about replacing the battery after a year or replacing the entire thing. They can even be washed in the dishwasher so that your tumbler doesn’t lose its sticker after just one wash cycle.

Sure, you lose out on the convenience of passive tracking, since Labels won’t be able to automatically communicate with passing devices. However, labels might be just as effective. Humans are curious creatures. We scan labels when we see them. It doesn’t hurt that each Label has four “Scan if Found” messages printed on it, in case a less-curious person passes your item.

Tile sells their Lost and Found Labels in an unusual way, at least temporarily. You need to buy three sheets of five Labels at once, totaling 15 QR code stickers. That brings you to $14. 99, or, effectively, $1 a tag. I don’t know why you can’t buy individual sheets but this is what it is.


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