Tile has announced a partnership with Intel to bring its tracking technology to laptops and help customers track down misplaced or stolen PCs. Intel will offer “updated solutions” to OEMs later this year, which means that we may start rolling out tile laptops in late 2020 or early 2021.
Tile trackers connect via Bluetooth to a mobile Tile app, which you can use to check their location on a map (provided they are within Bluetooth range). You can also trigger an alarm. (It’s quite noisy.) If your tracker is out of Bluetooth range, you can ping Tile’s crowd-finding network, which notifies you when your laptop approaches another Tile device.
Tile and Intel have not yet released many details about how Tile integration works. Their main promise is that with built-in tiles, you can track PCs even when they are in sleep mode. It is possible that the peculiarities of the integration of Tile vary depending on the manufacturer. Intel says it “works closely with PC manufacturers to determine the best tile experience for their customers.”
However, we already have an example. Tile’s first attempt at laptop integration – the HP Elite Dragonfly – was announced at CES 2020 and is already on the market. A physical tile tracker is integrated into this notebook. The tracker has separate hardware, including the battery and speakers. This means that he can operate and trigger the alarm for a limited time even when the dragonfly is switched off. It does use some power from the system, but the impact on battery life is only a matter of seconds, according to HP.
The Elite Dragonfly is an expensive business laptop, so it may be nice to see that it is available for cheaper mainstream devices. Let’s just hope that the impact on battery life remains minimal even in these cases.