Last week, I tore apart my entire living room before throwing my hands up in frustration. “Why can’t I just call my keys when they’re missing?” I yelled at my completely faultless boyfriend. “Seriously, that would be the best invention ever.”
Turns out, that best invention ever has already been invented. It’s a company called Tile and Entrepreneur reports that they just raised a $13 million Series A. Guess I’m not the only one who needs some digital help keeping track of their things.
So what’s the secret behind the magic?
Tile is one of those beautifully simple pieces of technology that could only be possible in the here and now. The product itself a little bluetooth-enabled white tile that can be affixed to any of your possessions. When you can’t find the remote or your keys or even your favorite pair of shoes that your puppy thinks it’s super fun to hide, all you have to do is press a button on the app and the tile will make a noise alerting you to where your object is.
If you’ve lost something outside of your house – say, the local bar – the app can track its location much like Find My iPhone allows you to track a lost phone. The way this works is a little different, though, so bear with me. Tile is able to located objects that are located within a 100 foot radius of anyone who is currently running the app. They tap into that person’s phone and use their bluetooth to locate your item.
While that may sound a little sketchy, the founders reassure security-minded users that all of that activity isn’t visible to the person whose phone is being used. The whole program runs in the background, so the proxy iPhone owner isn’t going to be able to track their way to your stuff.
Where they’ve been – and where they’re going.
Unsurprisingly, Tile is already showing some impressive traction. With a reasonable price point of $20 per tile or $60 for a pack of four, the company has already seen half a million orders and 300,000 tiles shipped. This latest round of funding will go toward developing the app for Android (currently it’s only available on iOs), which will not only open up an entirely new market for them but will also expand help current users, as more Tile apps running equals more possibility for tracking lost items from afar.
I, for one, am excited to watch as Tile continues to develop what I have decided is definitely the best invention of 2014. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go find my car keys.