While object location beacons have been around for a long time (tile products have been around for years), the market could explode this year. In fact, Apple finally lifted the veil on its AirTag day during its Srping Loaded event in April. This way, the user can find a lost item using bluetooth, ultra-broadband technology, and the Find My network formed by Apple devices using this app.
Samsung offers similar products. After launching the Galaxy SmartTag tag in January, the Korean giant lifted the veil on the Galaxy SmartTag + in April.
The latter is the real competitor to Apple’s beacons as it also uses Bluetooth technology combined with ultra-broadband. As a reminder, ultra-broadband, or UWB, is a technology that allows one device to determine the exact location of another device.
So if you lose an object to which you have attached a SmartTag + tag, you can use your Samsung smartphone (if it has a UWB module) to determine the exact location of this object using an augmented reality application. If the beacon is out of the range of Bluetooth and UWB, Samsung uses the SmartThings Find network to tell you the geographic location of this object.
In a statement, Samsung explains: ” […] When the disappearance of a SmartTag + is reported in SmartThings Find, every nearby Galaxy device authorized by its owner notifies the SmartThings server of its location. The Galaxy SmartTag + user will then receive a notification. All data in SmartThings Find is encrypted and protected so that the location of the SmartTag + is only disclosed to its owner. “”
SmartThing Find corresponds to the Find My or Locate app for Apple products. When you’ve lost a Galaxy SmartTag +, it essentially sends out a signal that other users’ Samsung products can pick up. These devices securely send information to Samsung’s servers, which can then tell you where your beacon is.
In addition, the beacon can also serve as a remote control for connected objects in the household via Samsung’s SmartThing ecosystem.
The product has been available in a number of countries including the UK since April. And this week we learn that it will also arrive in France in May.
Other similar products may come out
After the two major players in the smartphone market, Samsung and Apple, launched UWB and started offering object location beacons, it is possible that other brands will decide to follow suit.
In addition, suspected images of a future Oppo beacon began to circulate on the Internet shortly after the AirTag was presented by Apple. For its part, Google is interested in UWB technology.
As you probably already know, the company recently launched the Android 12 beta during its I / O conference. During this event, the company also left indications that it could equip its future smartphones with a UWB beacon. However, it is possible that Google is only interested in this technology for other functions (e.g. the ability to use Pixel smartphones as car keys).
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