Tile Is Clapper With Bluetooth

“If you’d miss it, tile it.”

The ad for the latest soon-to-be-released app for my iPhone sure got my attention. Not only did it pop up mysteriously every time I Googled something else. It also – unlike most ads – promised to solve a problem I actually have. Finding stuff.

The little square tile with a hole in the corner promised – for a price – to help me keep track of “all the things you can’t stand to lose.”

Somehow, once I downloaded the free app, I would be able to see right on my phone that my keys were under the sofa cushion and my purse was on top of the washing machine. All I had to do was attach a Tile to it.

“It’s the new Clapper!” I told my husband. He looked puzzled.

“You know,” I said. “That thing you attached to your keys and when you couldn’t find them you clapped your hands and kept clapping them and nothing happened.”

“Probably because you didn’t change the battery,” he pointed out.

Granted, remembering to change the batteries was a requirement. The Clapper was supposed to beep or flash when you clapped. But how many people who can’t remember where they put their keys would remember to change a battery?

Anyway, thanks to Bluetooth technology, the Tile is the Clapper on steroids. It doesn’t just buzz (or not). A map and flashing signal appear on your phone, and music plays as you get closer.

You just have to remember to charge your phone and – oh, yeah – remember where you put it. That, and you have to figure out which item is worth paying $20/year to track, which is the cost of one Tile. (But if you tend to lose a lot of things, there are multi-pack discounts.)

The list of worthy items probably changes with age. There was a time when I would have paid $20/day to track my younger son. But sewing a Tile into his jacket or backpack probably wouldn’t have worked because he was always leaving them at a friend’s house when they took off for somewhere else without checking in.

Right now, it might be worth $20/a year to track my purse. I can’t start my car without it – a blessing since, thanks to my smart key, at least I know I couldn’t have left my purse in some grocery cart if I drove home from the store.

I’d probably not pay $20 a year to track the remote since we have too many of them, and I don’t know how to work them anyway.

Since I’ve never gotten a helpful answer to the question “Has anyone seen my shoes?”

I‘d be inclined to tile them, but the whole shoe idea points up a design defect. Unless we’re talking tie shoes, there’s no way to attach a Tile. You certainly can’t walk on a Tile. Maybe a Velcro patch to make shoes “Tile-able” would work.

Who knows. If this really catches on, Armani might add little Tile slots in the soles of their $600 loafers. But even then, we’re left with the question “One Tile or two?” I think one would do. Unless you have a dog, shoes generally get lost in pairs. If you do have a dog, they may not be worth finding.

Which brings up the possibility of tiling your dog. The little hole would be perfect for attaching to a collar. A drawback here is that your dog would need to get lost within 100 feet of you unless he runs off into an area where someone else has downloaded the app, in which case you are in luck because you would get an alert from “the Tile community.”

Barring that, just try running around and calling his name. For extra good luck, clap your hands.

Copyright 2014 Pat Snyder

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