Apple better release the AirTag soon, its heavily rumored accessory for tracking personal belongings, because rival Samsung just announced that its latest Tile-like product, dubbed Galaxy SmartTag+, is arriving on Friday the next week, April 16.
- Samsung to release its $40 SmartTag+ item tracker on April 16.
- The squircle-shaped gadget supports ultra wideband (UWB) technology.
- It requires a compatible UWB-equipped Galaxy smartphone.
- Find lost or misplaced items using augmented reality (AR) technology.
Introducing SmartTag+ from Samsung
The new Galaxy SmartTag+ is an enhanced version of the company’s existing Bluetooth-based Galaxy SmartTags item trackers that launched in January 2021. It uses both UWB and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for enhanced wireless connectivity and location accuracy.
Similar to Apple’s rumored AirTags accessory, the new Galaxy SmartTag+ lets Samsung customers turn anything into a trackable item simply by attaching the accessory. A misplaced or lost item can be made to ring and the companion app also supports offline finding.
How to find lost items with Galaxy SmartTag+
You can locate your items in Samsung’s SmartThings software using a map or an augmented reality finder. A press release on the Samsung website describes how that works:
Because Galaxy SmartTag+ is both BLE and UWB-enabled, you can now use AR technology to find your missing item. The AR Finder guides you with an easy-to-follow interface on your smartphone which shows you how far away you are from your Galaxy SmartTag+ and points you in its direction. And once you’re closer to the tag’s location, you can choose to have it produce a loud ring so that even if it’s slipped under the sofa, you’ll have no trouble finding it.
Samsung takes advantage of a crowdsourced network of hundreds of millions of Galaxy devices that use Bluetooth wireless technology to let users locate a tagged item even if it’s misplaced somewhere very far from where they are. Users can opt in through the SmartThings app if they wish to enable their Galaxy device to help others find their own lost tags or devices.
Once you report your tag as missing in SmartThings Find, any nearby Galaxy device that has opted in will alert the SmartThings server about its location and you will receive a notification. All data in SmartThings Find is encrypted and protected, so the tag’s location isn’t revealed to anyone but you.
You can even program the built-in tag button in the SmartThings app to do custom things when pressed or held down, such as remotely turning off your bedside lamp.
Samsung says that the Galaxy SmartTag+ is “progressively available” from April 16.
The Galaxy SmartTag+ requires a Galaxy smartphone that features UWB technology, including the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Galaxy S21+, Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold2.
What about Apple AirTags?
Apple is also expected to release its rumored AirTags accessory anytime soon.
Yesterday, Apple announced that its Find My app now has a new Items tab for locating third-party gadgets, including the new personal item tracker from Chipolo. The company is also opening up its custom U1 ultra wideband chip to third-party vendors.
The Find My app also lets you locate missing accessories even if they can’t or don’t connect to the internet. That’s possible because Find My uses a crowdsourced network of all the Apple devices that use Bluetooth technology to detect missing items nearby.