Preventing Equipment Loss with Bluetooth Tracking

Preventing Equipment Loss with Bluetooth Tracking

Not long ago while timber cruising I lost a diameter tape – the only one I had! The loss of that tape cost me far more than the replacement cost of it as work had to stop when the tape disappeared! The really frustrating part was that I knew the tape was within about a 20 m diameter circle – it was very well hidden in brush!

If I had a “Tile” Tracker attached to the tape I would have been able to find it quickly.

I have had a “Tile” Tracker attached to my keys, wallet and in my briefcase for two years now. I will also attach a one to “mission critical” or expensive equipment when I am in the field. It has made finding these items much quicker. The app on my iPhone lets me know the approximate location of the lost item and I can get the Tile to play a sound that is easy to hear even if it is in a jacket pocket inside a closet.

Bluetooth Tile

The “Tile” Tracker is a Bluetooth enabled device that communicates with an app on either your iPhone or Android phone.  The app allows you to see the last location that your phone was connected to the “Tile” – provided you have Bluetooth turned on and the app running in the background.  The app also allows you to see the item’s location on a map.  In order to get the “Tile” to play a sound your phone must be connected to it, this requires that your phone be within about 10 to 30 meters.

There are many creative ways in which these devices can be used to keep track of important equipment.

  • Keep one in your car so that you can see the last place you parked it
  • Attach it to a UAV – in the event that you have a forced landing you can find it either by walking the area until close enough to get a Bluetooth connection or attach a smart phone to another drone and fly over the site
  • Use them to track what items are in storage without having to physically count them
  • Find your smart phone – pressing the tile will force the phone to play a sound
  • Attach it to your suitcase so you know when it is coming onto the airport baggage carousal

TileA “Tile” will cost you about $25 the first time you purchase one. However, after a year it can be replaced for about half that amount. The first “Tile” I purchased finally gave up the ghost after about 17 months. I thought this was pretty good as they are only supposed to last a year. The batteries are not replaceable.

There are a few other similar devices on the market (i.e. iTag and TrackR). However, I prefer “Tile” as it is water resistant enough that it can be used on field equipment that will see some rain.

You can learn more by visiting the “Tile” website.

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