Apple just announced its long-awaited AirTag, which we’ve been hearing whispers about since the fall of 2019, during the Apple Spring Loaded event. These types of Bluetooth trackers have been done before without widespread traction, but Apple’s interpretation is poised to help us never forget where we left our keys.
The circular-shaped accessory will integrate with the “Find My” app to give owners the ability to sniff out the AirTag, along with whatever it’s attached to — whether it’s your wallet or Nintendo Switch, Apple’s AirTag will help you track them down. While trackers have been around for a long time now, some of the main challenges have been their limited range and bulky size. Apple’s AirTag features a built-in speaker, an IP67 water-resistance rating, Apple’s U1 chip, and a user-replaceable battery that’s rated to offer over a year of battery life — all packaged into a compact and personalized design.
The IP67 water-resistance rating is interesting, just because it means added durability if it’s somehow left outdoors and at the mercy of the weather. You won’t have to worry about it getting wet or damaged, so it opens up the opportunity to attach it other things besides your valuables or gadgets. It could be the best way to keep track of your pets, too, if they get too far away from you.
Diving into the magic behind the AirTag’s ability to be tracked, the Apple-designed U1 chip leverages Ultra Wideband technology for determining precise location via Precision Finding on the iPhone 11 and 12 series phones. If an AirTag is out of Bluetooth range, the “Find My” app will help users track it down. They’ll be able to do this thanks to Precision Finding, which gathers data from the camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope to guide them to an AirTag’s location through a combination of haptics, visual feedback, and sounds.
However, if it’s outside of that range and lost, like if fell off while strolling through the park, the Find My network’s vast coverage will allow any iPhone user who may come across it to get in touch with the owner. All that’s needed is to tap the AirTag using their iPhone or any NFC-enabled device, where they’ll be directed to a website where the owner’s details will be provided (assuming the owner has provided the information initially).
Keeping track of what’s important for you can be made easier with Apple AirTag, which will be available on April 30 for $29 for a single AirTag — or $99 for a four-pack. Those who purchase it from Apple’s website or through the Apple Store app will have the option to personalize an AirTag with free engraving. There will also be an assortment of accessories for purchase as well, ranging from a polyurethane loop to an elegant AirTag Hermès handcrafted leather accessory. Apple’s Spring Loaded event is still ongoing, so you can expect to hear more exciting details about other devices.