Nordic Semiconductor today announces a new formal partnership with the manufacturer of the world’s best-selling Bluetooth® tracker, Tile.
The partnership is said to specifically cover a range of Tile devices that will come to market early next year and employ Nordic’s nRF52810 Bluetooth Low Energy Systems-on-Chip (SoCs). (Tile says it will reveal more details about these devices later this year.) The companies will also partner to introduce Tile finding technology to Nordic chips as part of a future Software Development Kit (SDK) package.
“Although Tile has been working with Nordic Semiconductor since the introduction of its very first Tile 1.0 device in 2014,” comments Tile CEO, CJ Prober, “our formal partnership is new. But we now want to take our business to the next level and see the Tile tracking and finding technology platform expand from standalone trackers to integrations with billions of Bluetooth-enabled products. To achieve that we are entering into a partnership with Nordic Semiconductor, one of the world’s leading Bluetooth semiconductor companies, to share the technological and commercial challenges of going up such a steep growth curve.”
Tiles are designed to be attached or put into anything a user wants to keep track of such as wallets, purses, backpacks, suitcases and luggage, or car key fobs. To date, Tile has sold over 26 million devices worldwide. Tile says its devices are used to locate more than six million items every day and that it has secured over 90% market share in the U.S. standalone tracker device market alone.
“Tile was made to help you find the things that matter most,” continues Prober. “When you activate a Tile and attach it to an item, the Tile app discovers the Tile and establishes a connection to it using your device's Bluetooth signal. Once a Bluetooth connection is made between your Tile and mobile device, Tile then uses the location services of your mobile device to communicate up-to-date location information anonymously to the app. This anonymous data can also be shared with the world’s largest lost and found user community spanning over 230 countries and territories, and we’re growing every day.”
The Nordic Semiconductor nRF52810 is a memory-optimized addition to Nordic’s nRF52 Series of class-leading, high-performance Bluetooth 5-certified SoCs. It was specifically designed to have the lowest power consumption in the nRF52 Series and brings the 2Mbps higher throughput, improved coexistence, and increased broadcast capacity with advertising extensions benefits of Bluetooth 5 to the most cost-sensitive, high-volume applications.
“Consumer device tracking is one of those features where once experienced it’s hard to go back,” says Geir Langeland, Nordic Semiconductor's Director of Sales & Marketing. “And it’s not hard to imagine a not-too-distant future where a great deal of consumer products, especially portable ones that are prone to being mislaid or left behind, don’t include some form of ‘track’, ‘find’, and ‘don’t lose’ smart functionality. And if this works seamlessly out-of-the-box and can be controlled from any smartphone via Bluetooth, then I can see it potentially being a very popular and genuinely useful feature for many consumers.