I have recently read about a new initiative: Tile. There is a small tile that can be attached to something or hidden inside something. The tile is home to a few interesting components, including a GPS receiver and Bluetooth radio.
What is it for? It knows its own position, and can tell other devices, e.g., to a smart phone running the Tile software. Such phones are connected to the center of the Tile service where information is collected. This is how I can find what I lost (actually the last location it was seen).
Is this useful? Where are my keys, where have you seen last? My bicycle is missing, did anyone see it? In the latter case, the thief’s phone might help me find my bicycle. It would be ironic, wouldn’t it?
Why do I like it? I see huge potential. It can translate human helpfulness into a computerized system. It can create a great community. When I cannot find my keys chances are that they are somewhere near, and “Tile” can tell me where. It is pretty simple, we don’t need others’ assistance. But if I’m looking for my missing bike, I need other people who also use this software. Their smart phones find the bike and let me know where. Wonderful, isn’t it?
I do like it, and I’ve subscribed (http://www.thetileapp.com/).