Outside, Apple’s new AirTag looks like a high-end product that we’ve all seen before. It is a disk-shaped tracking device that can be attached to items such as house keys to help find them.
But inside, the story becomes much more interesting.
The AirTag, introduced by Apple last week, is one of the first consumer electronics to support new wireless technology, ultrawideband, which allows you to detect the exact proximity of objects. Using the extreme belt, your iPhone can tell if the AirTag is an inch or tens of feet away. It is so accurate that it will even display an arrow pointing in the direction of AirTag.
This is much better than other scouts who rely on Bluetooth, an older wireless technology that can only roughly predict the proximity of an item. (Later, how all this works in the future).
Using Ultrawideband to find lost items is just one example of the power of technology. Ultrawideband could become the next wireless standard to follow Bluetooth due to its ability to quickly transfer data between devices. This can lead to better wireless headphones, keyboards, video game controllers.
“This is the tip of the iceberg,” said Frederick Nabkin, chief technology officer at Spark Microsystems, a Montreal-based company that develops high-bandwidth technology for AirTag-like spies. “It sends its data really, really fast.”
I tested Apple’s $ 29 AirTag for about a week, which will be released on Friday. I searched the house, found my dogs, and put them back in my backpack. I did a similar experiment with Tile, a $ 25 Bluetooth-based controller that has been around for about eight years.
During an antitrust hearing last week, Tyler complained that Apple had copied its products while putting small companies at a disadvantage. From my AirTag և Tile comparison tests, I found that the ultrawideband for finding items is much higher than Bluetooth. Moreover, AirTag has shown that ultrawideband is the next generation of technology worth getting excited about.
Here’s what you need to know.
How does ultrawideband և Bluetooth work?
Ultrawideband has been in development for over 15 years, but it has been embedded in chips for iPhone iPhone other smartphones for only the last two years.
When you use an ultrasound band to find a trace, it works in the same way as a sonor detects objects underwater. You ping the tag, the tag bounces back to your phone. To calculate the distance between two objects, the time given for the return of the ping is used.
But when you use Bluetooth to find a search engine, your phone constantly picks up a signal to search for it. The farther you are from the follower, the weaker the signal, և the closer you get to it, the stronger it gets. This technique is used to tell you approximately how far you are from the back.
Tile vs. AirTag
So what do the two core wireless technologies mean in practice?
The tablets work with both iPhones and Android phones using Bluetooth technology to find items. Open the “Tiles” program, select an item and click the “find” button. The program will look for the Tile, send a signal to join, after which it forces the follower to play a melody. If the signal connection is weak, it will tell you to move until the signal intensifies.
If your phone cannot find a board because it is out of range, you can put it in “lost mode”. The retailer will look for other Tile owners who have given the Tiles app access to their location to help find other people’s lost items. If the Samaritan who owns the tile is near your tile, that person’s device will report his or her location to the tile grid, which will show where the product was last seen on the map.
Apple AirTag works with both new and old iPhones. Newer devices (iPhone 11 և 12 series) can take advantage of ultrawideband precision localization capabilities. To find an item, open “Find My App”, select the item and click “Find”. From there, the app will connect with AirTag. The app combines the data collected with the phone’s camera, sensors and ultra-layer chip to point you to the pit, using an arrow to point you to it. Older iPhones could track AirTags via Bluetooth using a method similar to Tile.
Like a tablet when AirTag is lost և out of range of your phone դուք you can put it in lost mode և let other Apple phones find AirTag to help you see where the product was last seen on the map on:
The benefits of Ultrawideband can be easily seen in a few tests.
For one experiment, I asked my wife to hide a few AirTags և tiles all over our house, then և how long it took me to find them.
During one test, he hid an AirTag attached to my motorcycle key somewhere in our bedroom. Apple’s Find My app pointed me to the mattress և I pressed a button to make the label sound. After flipping through the covers and looking under the bed, I found an AirTag clogged under the mattress. It lasted about 90 seconds.
Next, I had to find a tile attached to my house key. I opened the “Tiles” program and hit the “Find” button. The app said the signal was weak, և suggested turning it on to find a stronger connection. When I went downstairs, I heard the sound of the bar, and the app said the signal was getting louder. I found the tile in the closet of the garage hidden in the trash. It took about a minute.
The most difficult AirTag was hidden inside the book. Apple’s “Find Me” app was aimed at the right shelf, but it couldn’t tell me exactly which book it was in. After removing four books from the book թերթ flipping through the pages, I found the AirTag inside the cookbook. This gave my wife three minutes of fun.
Separately, to check how the offspring were working when they were too far away from my phone, I attached an AirTag board to the collars of my two dogs and put the tags in lost mode as my wife took them for a walk. Nearby smartphones eventually helped me find two followers to show where the dogs were next door.
Even if the AirTag is an impressive display of UV technology, it does not make it the best tracker for everyone.
Due to the compatibility of AirTag with Apple products, I would give AirTag to the owner of the iPhone. But I would give a tile to a person with an Android phone.
AirTag is also far from perfect. I wish they were higher, they are very quiet compared to the Tiles, so playing was not very helpful to find them. I also did not like the fact that for most purposes AirTag requires the purchase of a separate accessory, such as a keyboard ring, to hold the tracker.
In contrast, the tile has a hole drilled in its corner, which is attached to a key ring or zipper head. (AirTag’s $ 29 price goes beyond Apple’s $ 35 leather key ring).
Still, ultrawideband gives AirTag a major advantage, and even Tile thinks so. Cile Prober, CEO of Tile, said last week that Apple had refused to give its company access to the iPhone’s high-layer chip to make its own trackers.
“They have launched a competitive product, they use that technology, which allows them to do things that our product can not,” said Mr. Prober in an interview. “We really think the competition should be fair. “Fair competition leads to better results for consumers.”
Apple Corps said in a statement that it had worked hard to protect the privacy of iPhone users, adding that it accepted the competition. It announced this month that it would soon release a program for other companies to use high-tech technology inside Apple devices.
I’m looking forward to these products using this neat wireless technology.
Mr. Nabkin said that because of the greater efficiency of data transmission, ultrasound could make future wireless devices much better. For example, he brought cordless headphones that connect at once and use very little battery power և sound like a cord.
It’s much cooler than finding the keys to a house.