When I arrived at Dallas airport I decided to buy and try a Tile. They’re nifty little gadgets, basically tiny square pieces of plastic you can attach to whatever thing you own. After you activate a Tile, your phone will be able to monitor the distance to the phone within Bluetooth range, saves the last GPS location the Tile connected to your phone, and you can trigger the Tile to make a sound. Finally, Tile’s connect to any phone running the App, meaning that even if something is very far away, other Tile users will update its approximate location for you.

It’s clever design – not using the Tile’s GPS but your phone’s GPS means that all the Tile needs to do is broadcast a low-energy signal that the phone can collect. That way, the battery can work for a year before running out. I think the thing that I appreciate most is how it’s solving the issue with an inverse and almost playful solution: if you want to know where something is, you don’t need its exact location: the distance to where your phone last noticed it, and some playful testing of what direction to move in, should be enough.

I was happy to have one in my backpack last week in Arizona, as I couldn’t find where we’d parked the car when we visited the Grand Canyon. The Tile in my backpack led me there perfectly.