As rumors swirl about Apple’s plans to launch a Tile competitor, Tile today announced it’s teaming up with Google to make it easier for users to locate their lost items using their Android devices and others using Google Assistant. For the uninitiated, Tile is a small hardware accessory that you can attach to items like keys, purses, bags, wallets and more, which can then be tracked using a combination of Bluetooth technology and the wider network of Tile users running the companion app on their phone.
The newly announced Google Assistant integration will make it possible for Google Assistant users to use voice commands to ring the Tile attached to the missing item. This is supported by way of Tile’s “direct ring” technology, which allows the platform to directly connect with, then ring, the lost item.
The Google Assistant integration will be similar to using any other smart home Action through the Assistant, Tile says, and will launch later this year.
“This is big news for Tile customers,” said CJ Prober, CEO of Tile, in a statement. “If you were to lose or misplace your wallet, remote, backpack – anything, Google will soon join your personal search party with a simple voice command.”
Tile’s announcement of Google Assistant integration comes at an interesting time.
Apple, which is hosting its iPhone event next week, has been found to be developing its own Tile competitor. Recently, code referencing a new tab labeled “Items” in iOS 13’s “Find My” app was also discovered, hinting at a forthcoming launch.
It’s unclear, of course, when Apple plans to actually unveil this hardware. But Tile, apparently, is looking to get ahead of any such announcement with its news for Android and Google Assistant users.
Tile has grown to become one of the top makers of Bluetooth-powered lost-item trackers on the market, with 22 million sold in 2018 and a user base that’s locating more than 5 million items daily using its platform across 230 countries and territories around the world.
The company has since expanded beyond its consumer devices to provide location tracking to more products by way of partnerships with BLE chipmakers and other manufacturers.
As of today, that list also includes Sennheiser, which launched its new Momentum Wireless around-ear headphones (339 EUR) at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin today. The headphones will ship with Tile’s Community Fine technology built-in, so users can locate them if they become misplaced, lost or stolen.
Tile now has more than 20 partnerships with the addition of Sennheiser, the company says.