On Friday, tech giant Amazon announced a new partnership with Tile and smart lock-maker Level that aims to let the pack of companies go toe to toe with Apple in the item tracking space — reports CNBC,
When Apple unveiled the AirTags during its ‘Spring Loaded’ event late last month, an eerie silence reverberated across the entire item tracking industry — a heavy hitter had landed.
Sure, Tile has a key-ring hole out of the box, doesn’t discriminate between Android and iOS, and doesn’t make you purchase additional accessories that cost almost as much as the device itself to get the best experience.
However, what Tile doesn’t have is access to is a network of 1 billion+ devices across the globe that basically form a mesh net for every single unit out there — that’s exactly what Apple’s ‘Find My’ network is for the AirTags.
While Apple does let third-parties access and use the ‘Find My’ network, that access is restricted and highly regulated. So much so that Tile has already called Apple out on the matter, labeling the AirTags as “unfair competition”.
This is where Tile’s joint venture with Amazon comes in. The partnership will allow Tile to tap into Amazon’s ‘Sidewalk’ technology, which is a network mesh consisting of millions of Amazon Echo products originally designed to share a small fraction of users’ Wi-Fi connectivity with nearby members of the mesh.
On the other side of the coin, the partnership will also give Amazon products like Alexa better Tile integration, allowing them to help users find their Tiles quickly and more accurately.
With Tile also currently working on Ultra-Wideband trackers to compete with Apple’s AirTags, access to a wider network of devices to piggyback off of might just be enough to put both Tile and Amazon back in contention with Apple.