Tile may not be the first stuff-I'm-probably-gonna-lose tracker, but it appears to be the most ambitious. "The World's Largest Lost & Found" invites users to attach small square tiles (duh!) via adhesive backing or clip to up to 10 of their commonly misplaced items--keys, phones, purses, luggage, bikes, pets--and when the item suddenly disappears, a complementary Tile app will signal their location by proximity up to 150 feet away. The app's range bars increase or decrease based on distance from the Tiled object, and when the user is very near s/he can activate a sound setting so the Tile will ring and further indicate its whereabouts.
So what if the thing I stuck a Tile to and lost is my phone? How am I supposed to use my phone to find my phone, butthead?
Tile users have Cloud accounts, so they can log on and activate a Tile search from anyone's phone. Well, anyone's iPhone or iRelated object, such as Pads and 5th gen Pods--Tiles do not currently function with Android platforms.
Further, and far more unique to this tracking device, Tile has the ability to fuse all of its users into a symbiotic community. In other words, if your lost (or stolen) item is out of your own 50 to 150-foot range, but falls within that of another person's Tile app, you'll get an automatic, anonymous tip (i.e., you won't see the other person's personal information) with the location of your Tile depicted as a pin on the app's map view. That means if enough people begin using Tiles, the range over which lost items can be found will broaden towards limitless. Jon Q. Arbuckle will feel a little buzz in his pants and be all, "What?! How the H-E-double-hockey-sticks did Odie get all the way to Abu Dhabi?!"
Tiles are currently available for a special introductory purchase price in order to earn funds for their production. First round shipments are set for Winter 2013/2014.