Bluetooth trackers: What are they?

Bluetooth trackers: What are they?




Have you lost your phone or wallet in the depths of your couch, or under your bed, or even the office—who knows? You might not, but I’m sure a Bluetooth tracker will. With the recent additions of Bluetooth trackers from Apple and Samsung, it brings up the questions of what they are, how they work, and whether you need one. Find out here as we dive into this.

What is a Bluetooth tracker?

Often referred to as finders, or the more modern term ‘Tag”, a Bluetooth tracker is essentially a small device that you attach to whatever item you wish so that your phone can keep tabs on its location.

It uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to connect to your mobile device and transmit data wirelessly. Like a fingerprint, each Bluetooth tracker has a unique signature that is only known to its owner once the connection has been established—unless the owner wants to share.

Do you need one?

If you are one to misplace items here and there, this device may assist you, especially if you need to locate your car keys when you are already late for work—relatable right? Luckily, there are Bluetooth trackers in the market, but in this article, we can introduce two popular options to you, the Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+ and the Apple AirTag.

Galaxy SmartTag+


 

The Samsung Galaxy SmartTag+ is equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and ultra-wideband (UWB) technology. Because of this, the user can use augmented reality (AR) technology as a visual guide to their missing item. Distance is no big deal as well due to the BLE and Galaxy device network. An additional feature is the SmartThings app; users can enable their Galaxy device to help others find their own lost tags and remotely act as a switch for simple actions such as turning off your lights.

In terms of privacy, all data in SmarThingsFFind is encrypted, so the location of the SmartTag is only revealed to the owner.

The SmartTag+ comes with a Hole—yes, I said that. With the hole included in its design, users do not need extra accessories to loop this tag around the item. Its Black Grey color is also less invasive and can blend in the keys of your car or wallet.

Apple AirTag

The Apple AirTag is equipped with a U1 chip, the same chip included in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12. It supports the same ultra-wideband technology, and like Samsung’s SmartThings app, Apple has its Find My app that seamlessly works with AirTags. The difference here is that a person who finds the lost AirTag can use an iPhone or any NFC-capable device to tap the tag and be taken to a website that displays the contact information the owner has provided.

Privacy features were thought out from Apple because they have implemented safety measures that detect unknown AirTags around you. Additionally, if an AirTag was separated from its owner for a certain amount of time, the tag will produce a sound if the AirTag is moved. Data from the Find My app is encrypted as well.

The Apple AirTags are cleverly designed around its CR2032 batteries, which gives it a smaller form factor yet still has a high rating of IP67 weather resistance. The AirTag offers engravings, text, and a selection of 31 emojis for personalization—something quirky to look at when you are looking for the keys of your house.

And there you have it, the two latest Bluetooth trackers. Note that Each tracker is compatible with their own corresponding systems of Android and iOS.

Have you ever lost something and found it 3 days later? Please share with us your thoughts and experiences on this in the comments below!



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