Viewing 31 posts - 41 through 71 (of 71 total)
  • Apple Airtag – Bike theft tracker??
  • Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    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.

    The Tile Pro uses a CR2032 battery and the Tile Mate uses a CR1632 battery – both user replaceable in seconds.

    You can buy the Pro for £29 and the Tile Mate for £15.
    They both feature a hole in the case allowing you to put it straight onto a key ring so you don’t have to then pay (at least £12 ATM) more for something to attach it to the key ring!!

    It’s a shame the AirTag doesn’t have a phone finder feature like the Tile (press and hold the button on the Tile and your phone starts ringing)

    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

    Although in reality the way nearly everyone will use them is by getting the tag to beep and then following the sound (and BT signals are affected by walls, etc as we found out with the NHS app).

    Premier Icon Jamze
    Full Member

    It’s a shame the AirTag doesn’t have a phone finder feature like the Tile (press and hold the button on the Tile and your phone starts ringing)

    You can already do this from the Find My app/web page, so prob thought it was unnecessary. Does Tile still have a website to track stuff? Can’t find it. Sure it used to.

    Premier Icon pleaderwilliams
    Free Member

    Presumably they could remove the capability for a third party to locate/disable on those they’re building into a VanMoof? After all, it’s fairly unlikely that someone’s going to slip an eBike into your handbag without you noticing.

    Premier Icon simon_g
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    Marques’ first look / hands on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehv3zQAa9zM

    Premier Icon zilog6128
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    You can already do this from the Find My app/web page, so prob thought it was unnecessary. Does Tile still have a website to track stuff? Can’t find it. Sure it used to.

    also a very quick way of doing this from Apple Watch. Dead handy!!

    Although in reality the way nearly everyone will use them is by getting the tag to beep and then following the sound

    dunno, the visual tracking mode featured in that video posted above looks pretty good!

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    You can already do this from the Find My app/web page, so prob thought it was unnecessary.

    Well…. As long as you have a laptop or PC on you (or you have an A Watch) – which definitely isn’t always.

    Or I suppose you could use your phone…. Oh, wait 🤦🏻‍♂️

    Form over function. They wanted it to look pretty so they ignored the fact that you have to buy an “accessory” to attach it to something without pockets (handy for their bank balance also).

    They could have put a button on it but that would have spoilt the looks – although if they had done I’m sure it would have been the greatest thing ever 😉

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Marques’ first look / hands on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehv3zQAa9zM

    Good demo….

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    Good demo….

    Yep, it was.

    Although at the end when he compared it to an actual tag on your bag that has your name and phone number – I suddenly realised that the latter does exactly the same job without needing a phone to read it!
    (This goes for Tiles, etc also)

    So although cute, it’s not exactly a game changer.
    Their biggest benefit may be when they’ve been left somewhere that isn’t public i.e. down the back of a cushion at your house!

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    So although cute, it’s not exactly a game changer.
    Their biggest benefit may be when they’ve been left somewhere that isn’t public i.e. down the back of a cushion at your house!

    for me the smart aspect is also very interesting… sending me an alert if I’ve started to cycle back from work without my house keys, for example! (although that use is not exclusive to Air Tags of course)

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Full Member

    update having received my AirTags on Friday and had a bit of a play about! The locator works great but seems to be blocked by walls and other things so LOS seems to be required to some extent (you’ll notice in that unboxing video that was posted, the tracking starts from a reasonable distance BUT he’s in a very open office/warehouse environment). So in real use it might be a case of using the beeper initially or just wandering around (it does tell you the last known position) until it picks up the UWB signal. Once it picks it up, it’s really good giving you precise direction & distance.

    The GF was running a 10k yesterday and since she doesn’t have an iPhone I gave her (with her consent!!) one of the tags to track her progress. Worked well, I didn’t have to put it into lost mode as was suggested, looks like other nearby iPhones were relaying the position, although it wasn’t real time (longest interval was about 15 mins). It didn’t freak out at any point, so if you COULD stash it somewhere unseen on your bike, I think it would work OK as a tracker, at least short term, which might be enough to get it back.

    Disappointingly, no automation options exist yet 😭 I’ll have to wait until either Apple add it via Siri Automations or some egghead updates the iCloud plugin for Home Assistant (or some other method emerges!) Hopefully just a matter of time, almost tempted to pick up a Tile now to do some automation stuff as got loads of ideas I want to try out 🤣

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    The locator works great but seems to be blocked by walls and other things

    End of the day it’s still bluetooth with the associated limitations.

    almost tempted to pick up a Tile now to do some automation stuff as got loads of ideas I want to try out

    If you do, go for the Tile Mate. Small, cheap and replaceable battery.

    Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    I was wondering about this very thing myself. But it seems the Airtags are a pretty useless product, other than being able to locate things which aren’t really ‘lost’ in the first place. As a locator for stolen goods, though, it seems useless if it can be disabled and/or won’t work if inside a building, basement etc.

    Premier Icon Houns
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    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    I was wondering about this very thing myself. But it seems the Airtags are a pretty useless product, other than being able to locate things which aren’t really ‘lost’ in the first place. As a locator for stolen goods, though, it seems useless if it can be disabled and/or won’t work if inside a building, basement etc.

    I’m not sure understood how they work. Let’s use the bag on the train scenario as per that video, I left my bag on train once. So, the bag has a tag on/in it, there’s 12 passengers sat nearby with phones. The Airtag will talk to their phones and the phone will report where it was last seen, I can look on phone and see it may be on the train. Then then bag gets handed in at a station, the staff have phones on them which are now able to send it’s location. Makes it easy for me to contact that station direct and arrange collection.

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    Makes it easy for me to contact that station direct and arrange collection.

    Yes in that scenario it should work really well.

    In the someone actively stealing something, it works up until they find the tag and disable it. Given most scrotes are pretty dim, I expect several will incriminate themselves with their own phones. Amazing how many local scrotes run off from the Police dropping wallet / phone etc. In one case someone ran off leaving their children behind…..

    Premier Icon Drac
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    Yeah my daughter has her iPhone stolen, they took it to home and showed the police the location and a picture from Google maps of the property. They rang me as the officers arrived at the house. Rather unsurprisingly it wasn’t ringing and vanished off find my phone when they knocked on the door.

    Premier Icon branes
    Full Member

    I’ve got a few Tiles which we use for finding keys and vice-versa phones in the house.

    I’ve experimented with putting them in frames as security devices, but metal and carbon frames seem to be effective enough Faraday cages that it seemed pointless to me.

    Someone on tinternet seems to epoxy them to a crank – would work, and *might* look like a cadence sensor/power meter I suppose, but replacement of device or battery problematic then of course.

    Airtags would almost certainly be little different as presumably they use very similar, if not identical radio technology.

    Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    So I’m confused; can Airtags be disabled or not? Does someone need an iPhone to be able to do so?

    Premier Icon DrJ
    Free Member

    So I’m confused; can Airtags be disabled or not? Does someone need an iPhone to be able to do so?

    Yes they can but I’m not sure I see the issue – if you find an Airtag someone slipped into your bag to track you, there are fairly straightforward ways to disable it with extreme prejudice.

    I see them as useful for things you lose – keys, work ID swipe card etc. Not so much for stuff that is stolen.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    So I’m confused; can Airtags be disabled or not? Does someone need an iPhone to be able to do

    Taking the battery out or hitting them with a brick will suffice.

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    there are fairly straightforward ways to disable it with extreme prejudice.

    Pretty sure this would work very quickly.

    Premier Icon nickc
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    I see them as useful for things you lose – keys, work ID swipe card etc. Not so much for stuff that is stolen.

    To be fair to Apple, I don’t think that they’re marketing it as a anti-theft device are they?  If the scroute who steals your bike has an iPhone, as soon as he gets home, (supposing he takes the stole bike home) he’ll get a notification that the bike has a tag on it, so presumably he’ll look for it and destroy it.

    Premier Icon DrJ
    Free Member

    To be fair to Apple, I don’t think that they’re marketing it as a anti-theft device are they?

    No – I think you’re right.

    Premier Icon Superficial
    Free Member

    Pretty sure this would work very quickly

    They’re water resistant.

    To be fair to Apple, I don’t think that they’re marketing it as a anti-theft device are they?

    No. In fact, the stalking aspect I hadn’t considered at all, but it’s clear that Apple have given it some mititgation by adding specific features (like “There’s an AirTag travelling with you” messaging to nearby phones) in order to make them less useful for stalking. Which also makes them less useful for tracking stolen items, unfortunately for us.

    I suppose if you hide the AirTag well (E.g. deep in the downtube) it might encourage a thief to dump the bike when they find it’s being tracked –> More chance of recovery.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    Pretty sure this would work very quickly.

    I don’t think they’re soluble.

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    They’re water resistant.

    Damnit…. you’re right (although only IP67 rating, making it dust and splash-resistant). Are they hammer-proof?

    Premier Icon bridges
    Free Member

    So this might still be a good idea, although reliant on the ‘thief’ not having an iPhone/not finding the tracker? I am finding the potential legal implications of all this quite intriguing.

    Premier Icon thebunk
    Full Member

    This is a good review that goes into some depth on the anti-stalker/stolen items implementations:

    https://uk.pcmag.com/mobile-phone-accessories/133131/apple-airtag

    Apple’s anti-stalking features are a little complex. If you have an iPhone with OS 14.5 or later and there is a “foreign” AirTag (one not paired with your device) traveling with you, Apple says you will get an alert at the end of the day or when you return to your home location as indicated in Apple Maps or Contacts. Otherwise, an AirTag separated from its owner will begin to beep after three days.

    Couple of other useful bits of info from the review.

    – They need to be within 30 feet of any iPhone in order to be on the FindMy network.

    – The instructions on how to disable it basically just explain how to remove the battery

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    So this might still be a good idea, although reliant on the ‘thief’ not having an iPhone/not finding the tracker?

    You’d still track it to his house which is probably where he’s discover it. Most bike thieves are just opportunits and not the smartest bunch. If he took the battery out in his living room chances are his iPhone would have already relayed the location of the tag….

    I’m not suggesting the tags are a fool proof stolen bike tracking system, but I suspect they’ll work reasonable well given most scrotes will probably have stolen a top end iPhone before they steal a top end bike. Once the tag starts beeping its a bit of a give away but in theory you’d have discovered its location before that.

    Premier Icon sharkbait
    Free Member

    – They need to be within 30 feet of any iPhone in order to be on the FindMy network.

    Maximum. Closer if walls are in the way.

    You’d still track it to his house which is probably where he’s discover it.

    You think?
    You’re making a few assumptions there.
    Firstly that he’s got an iPhone, secondly that he’s never heard of airtags, thirdly the he’s still got BT switched on and fourthly that he’s not switched his phone’s location tracking off.

    Assuming all those things then maybe, yes.
    But what are the chances?

    I’m not sure you could rely on other people’s phones either.
    BT scans for devices and advertises it’s presence about every 2.5 seconds (maybe longer given they want to make the coin battery last as long as possible) so there could be a period of 5+ seconds before a phone detects the airtag – at this point they would start making a connection and passing some data…. Which would take a little longer.
    Presuming he’s riding the bike then there’s a good chance the tag may not be within range long enough for a phone to know what it is.
    (If the bike has gone into the back of a van then chances are obviously slimmer).

    There’s a difference between {Apple} designing something to locate an item that’s been lost and an item that’s been stolen.
    The former generally doesn’t move a lot whilst the latter is actively trying to be hidden.

    Premier Icon iamtheresurrection
    Full Member

    I left one in the van today when it went in to the shop. I can now see that it’s actually about 35 miles away, at a specialist repairer.

    I had no idea that’s where it was going – but have left one discretely hidden in the van. It replaced a Tile, which has never, ever worked like that (too small a user base to be useful).

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