Apple officially unveils AirTag to track lost items

Apple has officially unveiled AirTag, a location tracking tool that can help owners of Apple devices find lost items through the Find My application while maintaining the privacy of location data and anonymity with complete encryption between parties.

The AirTag itself is a small, lightweight, round tracker that features stainless steel, IP67 water, and dust resistance, and can be attached to personal items, such as purses, bags, or keys.

Initial orders begin Friday, and the product goes on sale on April 30 for $ 30.

The built-in speaker plays sounds to help locate the AirTag, while the removable cover makes it easy for users to replace the battery.

Once set up, AirTag appears in the New Items tab in the Find My app, where users can view the current or last known location of an item on the map.

Each AirTag is equipped with an Apple-designed U1 chip using ultra-broadband technology, enabling accurate searches for iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 users.

This technology can more accurately determine the distance and direction to the missing AirTag when in range.

As the user moves, Precision Finding integrates input from the camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope and then directs them to the AirTag using a combination of audio and visual feedback.

And if the AirTag is disconnected from its owner and out of bluetooth range, the Find My network can help track it.

The Find My network is approaching 1 billion devices and can detect lost AirTag bluetooth signals and transmit the location to its owner, all in the background, anonymously and confidentially.

Users can also put the AirTag into Lost Mode and be notified when it is in range or has been located by the vast Find My network.

And if an AirTag is found missing from someone, they can click on it with an iPhone or any device that supports NFC and it takes it to a website that displays the phone number of the owner's contact.

AirTag is designed to keep location data private and secure, and neither location data nor location history is physically stored within AirTag.

The connection to the Find My network is end-to-end encrypted so that only the owner of the device can access his location data, and no one, including Apple, knows the identity or location of any device that helped find it.

AirTag is also designed with a set of proactive features that discourage unwanted tracking, as the Bluetooth signal IDs sent by AirTag are frequently rotated to prevent unwanted location tracking.

And if users don't have an iOS device, the AirTag, which has been separated from its owner for an extended period of time, beeps when moved to draw attention to it.

And Apple's entry into the tracker field means that competitors like Tile face more serious competition even with the concessions that Apple made with the opening of Find My.

Tile has so far responded to Apple's plans by previously announcing its plans to launch a UWB tracker, arriving this year.

Apple's tight control over its ecosystem is helpful in launching new products, such as AirTags, forcing Tile to focus on promoting its features, such as a variety of formats and cross-platform support.

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