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  • Apple Airtag – Bike theft tracker??
  • Premier Icon shuhockey
    Free Member

    Please note I’m not a Apple Fan boy!

    Just seen these (https://www.engadget.com/apple-airtag-29-each-find-my-item-tracker-comning-april-30-171736127.html) Apple Airtags that they have launched. Could these be the cheapest $30 and best way to track your bike if stolen? It sounds like anyone with an Iphone (1 billion) would have the feature switched on and that would anonymously report the location if it is reported lost. Similar to the Tiles product but with a billion people looking for it? Battery lasts a year. Hopefully it will work so those with android can also set them up.

    Premier Icon kelron
    Free Member

    It will tell the thief it’s there, so probably not.

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    Similar to the Tiles product but with a billion people looking for it?

    Well not really.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    Looks very interesting and handy for people like me who forget where the put stuff.

    It will tell the thief it’s there, so probably not.

    No, not unless it’s in lost mode otherwise it will just transmit to the owner.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    It will tell the thief it’s there, so probably not.

    Is that true?

    I use FindMy all the time to locate my wife (and/or her phone). Similarly, she tracks me when I’m riding. You can see where the device is without sounding an alarm. Suspect these are similar, with the added benefit of that directional bluetooth thing that will steer you towards it. Pretty cool. I’d be interested to know if it’ll work in bikes.

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Full Member

    32mm is just a little too big to stick down a seat tube, but I probably have a big enough void in my frame around the BB area to tuck one in, bit of VHB tape would stop it rattling about. I might pick up an extra to give it a go.

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    No, not unless it’s in lost mode otherwise it will just transmit to the owner.

    But until it’s in lost mode only the owner can find it within bluetooth range. Anything further away needs lost mode and then anyone (including Android with NFC) can locate it.

    Premier Icon NewRetroTom
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    Similar to Samsung SmartTag?

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    Similar to Samsung SmartTag?

    And Tiles…. but more spendy obvs.
    (quite possibly made by the same company)

    Premier Icon Pieface
    Free Member

    It will help you find the frame, but not necessarily the forks, wheels, saddle, dropper post, gears and whatever other denominations the bike gets split into

    Premier Icon doubleeagle
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    I’ve had my eye on these being released for a while for this reason.

    I’m waiting for a few details to be confirmed. Apparently there’s a few issues with privacy that they’ve had to iron out, e.g. making sure that you don’t sneak one into someone’s handbag so you can track them against their knowledge. So I think that if the tag is far away and a device picks it up, the device would need to grant approval to send the location of the tag to you. I don’t think a bike thief would do this (sadly). I think the tag also makes a noise. Again, I’m not 100% sure on all this, but it’s what I understand so far.

    I’m making a lot of guesses here based on the info in the press videos. I’m hoping it could be what we’re looking for though.

    Premier Icon andrewreay
    Full Member

    Yeah – it only transmits its location by bluetooth, there’s no GPS so is pretty useless if beyond bluetooth range.

    That said, it will let you know if your bike has been moved out of range e.g. nicked while you are in a shop / pub. But that’s what Tiles and Samsung do already, so not really a game changer and out of range is just that. You won’t know if your bike went North, South, East or West, just that its not where you left it.

    Have to say though that my Tiles were useless once the battery ran out as the cell wasn’t replaceable, which felt like an enormous piece of environmental vandalism and blatant profiteering. At least Apple are making them last beyond the life of a cell.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
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    It will tell the thief it’s there, so probably not.

    they have said there are anti-stalking features but they haven’t said EXACTLY how it’ll work, especially concerning items marked as “lost”, so it’ll be interesting to see if it can be used for this purpose. I’ll certainly be buying a few packs anyway for keys, wallet etc so will be testing it on a bike for sure 😃

    And Tiles…. but more spendy obvs.

    is it though? it’s no more expensive than Tile Pro, plus unlike Tile you won’t have to fork out a subscription for the premium features!

    Yeah – it only transmits its location by bluetooth, there’s no GPS so is pretty useless if beyond bluetooth range.

    except – every other iDevice (including the thief’s own iPhone 🤣, or any passer-by) acts as a receiver to transmit the BT signal. This is the massive advantage over Tile – there’s a HUGE existing network of repeaters already established. (That and the much greater precision when used with a newer phone)

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    But until it’s in lost mode only the owner can find it within bluetooth range. Anything further away needs lost mode and then anyone (including Android with NFC) can locate it.

    No, or how would you activate lost mode? It connects to an Apple device nearby then transmits it last location to the owner.

    Premier Icon andrewreay
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    except – every other iDevice (including the thief’s own iPhone 🤣, or any passer-by) acts as a receiver to transmit the BT signal. This is the massive advantage over Tile – there’s a HUGE existing network of repeaters already established. (That and the much greater precision when used with a newer phone)

    But in practice you could receive 1 billion notifications that someone has lost their car keys. It will be a complete PITA for 99% of iphone users receiving random notifications that someone has lost stuff. So they’ll just turn it off.

    Also, in densely populated areas it will be pretty hard to find something with just a fleeting signal from the tag, so again it becomes annoying so people will just turn it off.

    And then in less populated areas, there’s only a tiny chance that anyone will be close enough to trigger a signal from a lost item, so pretty useless for most practical crime-prevention purposes.

    As a way of finding lost keys down the back of the sofa, it’s ok, but it’s not the equivalent of a tracker for bikes (or anything taken outside really).

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    But in practice you could receive 1 billion notifications that someone has lost their car keys

    Only if you standing next to a billion Airtags that have been activated as lost.

    Premier Icon rossa
    Full Member

    https://www.macrumors.com/how-to/disable-an-airtag-found-moving-with-you/ explains how to disable an airtag found moving with you – this also makes it useless for a stolen bike as the thief will just disable it.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    But in practice you could receive 1 billion notifications that someone has lost their car keys. It will be a complete PITA for 99% of iphone users receiving random notifications that someone has lost stuff. So they’ll just turn it off.

    I really don’t think that’s how they will work. You’ll just act as a relay in the network – you won’t actually receive a notifaction or even know that it’s happened.

    Also, in densely populated areas it will be pretty hard to find something with just a fleeting signal from the tag, so again it becomes annoying so people will just turn it off.

    as above, I don’t think the idea is that everyone with an iPhone within range turns private eye to help you track down your lost keys 🤣

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    Have to say though that my Tiles were useless once the battery ran out as the cell wasn’t replaceable, which felt like an enormous piece of environmental vandalism and blatant profiteering.

    The Tile Mate (£19 at most) has had a replaceable battery for a few years now. The Slim and Sticker have a 3 year battery.

    unlike Tile you won’t have to fork out a subscription for the premium features!

    Not looked into the premium features, but I can see where my daughters car keys are 90 miles away and can get directions straight to them without paying.

    except – every other iDevice (including the thief’s own iPhone 🤣, or any passer-by) acts as a receiver to transmit the BT signal. This is the massive advantage over Tile – there’s a HUGE existing network of repeaters already established. (That and the much greater precision when used with a newer phone)

    But as already said, this is only works in Lost mode and then the person who nicked your bike can also see that there’s a tag and remove it.

    For something that’s genuinely been lost (bag, keys, etc. ) this works fine but not so much if it’s been nicked because the perps are going to check for tag.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    But as already said, this is only works in Lost mode

    does it? That’s not what Apple says:

    Your AirTag sends out a secure Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby devices in the Find My network. These devices send the location of your AirTag to iCloud — then you can go to the Find My app and see it on a map.

    they’ve been working on it for YEARS, I am confident it will be at least as good as Tile, if not better. 😉

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    You didn’t read that fully or if you did you missed it doesn’t say sending alert to their phone.

    Premier Icon oakleymuppet
    Free Member

    Had the same idea as soon as I saw this. Will definitely get a couple at that price and try it out on the bike.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Free Member

    Similar to Samsung SmartTag?

    And Tiles…. but more spendy obvs.

    Are you trying to tell me that Apple has taken existing technology, painted it White and more expensive and rebranded it as new?

    I can’t believe it.

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    does it? That’s not what Apple says:

    Obviously this might be wrong – or Apple might be “shortening the sequence”

    A built-in speaker will play sounds to locate the AirTag when the item it’s attached to goes missing. If the AirTag is farther afield than under your couch cushion, for example, users can place the device into a “Lost Mode” that will leverage Apple’s Find My network across everyone’s devices.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    When your belongings are far away from you, Apple says it will use the Find My network, which is approaching a billion devices, to locate it. It will detect Bluetooth signals from lost AirTags and “relay the location back to its owner, all in the background, anonymously and privately.” You can also enable a “Lost Mode” to be alerted when your AirTag comes back within range or has been located by the Find My network. When a tag is in Lost Mode, people who come across it can tap it using an iPhone or an NFC-capable device, and they’ll be taken to a website showing your phone number (if you chose to provide it).

    It’s  quite clear.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    Obviously this might be wrong – or Apple might be “shortening the sequence”

    bear in mind that’s a random online source, not actually a statement from Apple. It makes sense for the tags to emit a noise IF YOU’RE NEARBY, so you can find them. It makes less sense to start beeping if the owner is miles away – but you would want the location relayed silently to you via the extended iDevice network. We will see when people actually have them in their hands, I guess.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    Interestingly that Tech Crunch article mentions Apple has opened up it’s “Find My” network to 3rd parties (including an e-bike manufacturer, so presumably more to come in the future!) and implies that Tile were invited to participate but declined.

    Premier Icon toby
    Full Member

     It makes sense for the tags to emit a noise IF YOU’RE NEARBY, so you can find them. It makes less sense to start beeping if the owner is miles away

    Not if you’re trying to actively avoid their covert use for tracking the home address of people without their knowledge. Also makes sense to attract third parties to lost items where they may well follow instructions to return things to their owner. I can’t help but feel, however, that’s a different circumstance to trying to covertly track something in the hands of a thief who may well be actively checking for it.

    It does strike me a bit as square peg / round hole trying to use them for stolen bike retrieval. That’s not the same as wanting them to fail for their intended purpose though.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    Not if you’re trying to actively avoid their covert use for tracking the home address of people without their knowledge.

    It doesn’t give them your home address.

    Premier Icon toby
    Full Member

    It doesn’t give them your home address.

    It does give you a way to find people’s home if you slip it into someone’s handbag and they subsequently go home while the system tells you exactly where the tag is, which is what I think they’ve tried fairly hard to avoid them being used for.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    It does strike me a bit as square peg / round hole trying to use them for stolen bike retrieval.

    yes, that’s fair, I’ll definitely experiment with that use given the price but otherwise will be quite happy just using them as they’re designed! 😃

    Premier Icon kelron
    Free Member

    Seems pretty clear from the OPs link that these aren’t going to be suitable for finding stolen stuff.

    there are features built in like unwanted tag detection, rotating identifiers and audible alerts from unknown tags

    Premier Icon doris5000
    Free Member

    It does give you a way to find people’s home if you slip it into someone’s handbag and they subsequently go home while the system tells you exactly where the tag is, which is what I think they’ve tried fairly hard to avoid them being used for.

    Indeed – this would be a huge privacy and PR disaster if they didn’t have a way to stop that happening.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    It does give you a way to find people’s home if you slip it into someone’s handbag and they subsequently go home while the system tells you exactly where the tag is, which is what I think they’ve tried fairly hard to avoid them being used for.

    Well that’s one extreme way to look at it, yes.

    Premier Icon toby
    Full Member

    It’s not that extreme – a discrete, covert tracker that used a billion devices worldwide as relays would be open to all sorts of abuse. Which is why it makes sense that it goes beep if someone is looking for it. It makes their covert use for nefarious purposes much harder. As a bonus, it means that cleaners are much more likely to find a wallet down the back of a bus seat.

    Premier Icon Kuco
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    I was hoping these would be released on the last launch so I went for a tile instead as I’m great at losing keys. May still give the Apple ones ago though.

    Premier Icon CountZero
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    Are you trying to tell me that Apple has taken existing technology, painted it White and more expensive and rebranded it as new?

    Nope. About the same price, £29 each, or a pack of four for £99. I believe the Tile and Samsung ones are either the same or slightly more. Uses a standard 2032 battery, too.
    I’ll be buying one, for my car keys, ‘cos I’m forever just plonking them down somewhere then forgetting where.
    Thing is, these are more than BT, they use a more accurate radio that’s built into iPhones and some Samsung phones, that gives location accuracy down to about 10cm, and in iOS 14 it works in AR mode – hold the phone up and the screen will have a pointer to show where the item is located, as well as using an audible signal if required.
    Oh, and AirTags can be located by any NFC-enabled phone, which includes Android.
    https://9to5mac.com/2021/04/20/lost-airtag-can-be-read-by-any-other-nfc-enabled-iphone-or-android-device/

    Premier Icon revs1972
    Free Member

    That article states they are doing a hermes edition.
    That’ll be handy to find the package when they deliver it 😉

    I’ll get me coat

    Premier Icon rossa
    Full Member

    The Hermes luggage tag is $499 – that’s a real statement if you buy that for a £25 airtag! You do get a ‘free’ airtag for that though!🤣

    Premier Icon Jamze
    Full Member

    It does strike me a bit as square peg / round hole trying to use them for stolen bike retrieval.

    yes, that’s fair, I’ll definitely experiment with that use given the price but otherwise will be quite happy just using them as they’re designed! 😃

    And yet as part of the PR, they were going on about VanMoof building this tech into their eBikes? Hard to imagine forgetting where you left an eBike – so it’s for tracking after theft, surely?

    But on their website, it says anyone can disable a tag they find for privacy reasons?

    and implies that Tile were invited to participate but declined

    I assume the deal is to switch to Apple’s solution and sell it as a Tile, rather than add the existing Tile network to Apple’s Find My network. So for Tile, they’d have two separate services running with different capabilities.

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