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Find Your Lost Keys (and Other Things) with Tile

My wife loses her keys often. I don’t mean to cast aspersions; I have plenty of my own quirks and foibles, to be sure. It makes sense, too. We have busy lives, and it’s easy for keys to be thrown in bags or tossed on counters and forgotten—until they’re needed. As a result, though, we spend far too much time, particularly in the mornings, turning the house over in search of the keys that will help us get out the door to work.

Enter the Tile, a small bluetooth finder that you can attach to keys or pretty much anything else that’s often lost. In short, you attach a tile to what you want to track, either via their loop (good for keyrings) or the sticky backing squares that come with the devices (good for flat surfaces, like laptops) and then link your tiles to the Tile app on your phone. The Tiles will check in with your phone regularly, recording their last known GPS coordinates. In addition, the Tiles can communicate with your phone via Bluetooth. If you lose your Tile-d keyring, for instance, you launch the app, press the “Find” button next to the Tile you wish to locate, and (if you are within Bluetooth range) your keys will begin chiming loudly so you can quickly find them. If you are outside of Bluetooth range but know the keys are, say, in the house, you can walk around with the app open until you get within range, at which point the Tile will begin chiming.

These are low-powered devices, which does result in some limitations. If you lose your keys while, say, at the store, the app will not be able to pinpoint precisely which grocery cart they are sitting in. It should be able to indicate their last known location on a map—hopefully the store itself—but you would have to return to that location to track the keys more closely.

All in all, however, we have found these devices incredibly handy. I bought a 4 pack for Christmas and thus far we’ve used Tile to find my wife’s keys 6-7 times and (I must confess) my own at least twice. Tiles have saved us a good bit of time and (probably far more) stress. In short, they’ve done just what they advertise, for which we’ve been very grateful. I also appreciate the minimalistic design. They don’t take up much room on my keyring, and they look nice to boot. If you have things you often lose (or worry about losing), I highly recommend you give Tile a try.

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