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Product Review: Tile Mate Tracker

by Lucy Woods
Tile Mate Keychain, by Matt Brown

I have been known to lose my keys, my purse, my bicycle and even my cat. So my ears pricked up when I heard about Tile Mate, a product that the makers, Tile, say can help me find lost stuff.

Tile Mate is the brainchild of Mike Farley, who became frustrated with his wife constantly losing her keys and purse.

It’s a simple enough concept: the nifty tracking tool, about the size of a £2 coin, can be attached to a set of keys or, if using their special adhesives (at an additional cost), any hard surface.

Tile Mate Keychain, by Matt Brown

Tile Mate Keychain, by Matt Brown

To get it working, I downloaded the Tile App on my smartphone and followed the simple instructions. Tile Mate played a happy tune to alert me that it was ready.

The first time I lost my keys I opened up the App, pressed the “find” button and voila: the Tile Mate started to ring. I found it under some cushions.

As long as the tagged lost item is in Bluetooth range, you can view its location on the app. But what happens when it has gone further afield? Cleverly, you can access the Tile community “passive network” which will alert you when your item is in range without the other Tile Mate knowing.

So, if another Tile Mate user inadvertently walks past your lost item, you will be automatically notified of your item’s approximate location through a “passive” text message. It all happens in the background and the other user will not be aware of it. You can then travel to said location, and once in Bluetooth range, “ring” the object.

This “passive network” spans 200 countries and the Tile say that they help to locate more than half a million lost items every day.

The device is very light and inconspicuous, and would be ideal for tracing lost or stolen luggage when travelling.

The Tile Mate costs £23 and has a battery life of one year. If you are the kind of person (like me) who gets in a flap every time they’ve lost their keys, this is a worthwhile purchase. It would be interesting to test its effectiveness in recovering stolen luggage.

Read next: What to do if your luggage is lost or damaged


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