Tile (company)

Tile is an American consumer electronics company which produces tracking devices to help users find their belongings, such as keys and backpacks, which use Bluetooth 4.0. The devices work with a companion mobile app for Android and iOS, which allows users to locate lost items through Bluetooth or where they were last seen.[1] In September 2018 GoPro vet CJ Prober became CEO of Tile.[2] In September 2015, Tile launched Generation 2 hardware that includes find-your-phone functionality and other feature upgrades, which by January 2016 sold over 4.5 million units.[3][4] In August 2017, two new versions of the Tile were launched, the Tile Sport and Tile Style.[5] As of 2019, the lineup consists of the Pro, Mate, Slim, and Sticker.[6]

Tile logo.png
Type of businessPrivate
FoundedDecember 2012; 8 years ago (2012-12)
HeadquartersSan Mateo, California
Created byMike Farley
Nick Evans
IndustryConsumer electronics
ProductsKey finder devices
Native client(s) oniOS, Android


By attaching a Tile hardware device to a keychain or other item, a user can later use the Tile app to help locate the item if the object is lost.[7] The Tile application uses Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0 radio technology to locate Tiles within a 150-foot to 300-foot range (depending on the product).[8][9] Each Tile comes with a built-in speaker so the user can hear it within close range. Generation 2 of the Tile device has a volume of 90 decibels,[10] three times as loud as Generation 1's volume.[11] The Gen 2 adds a "find your phone" feature.[10] Tiles are 1.5 square inches.[12]

The application can locate Tiles beyond the 100-foot Bluetooth range, using "crowd GPS": if an item with an attached Tile device is reported lost and comes within range of another user's Tile application, the nearby user's application will send the item's owner an anonymous update of that item's location.[8][13][14][15] Alternatively, a user can share their Tile with another user, to let both users locate the Tile.[16] The first generation of Tiles could be shared with any number of users, while the later generations can only be shared for free with a single other user, with unlimited sharing available as part of the $2.99 / month Tile Premium service.[17]

Originally, Tile's built-in batteries had a battery life of about one year. Users were automatically notified when the batteries were nearing depletion, and were eligible to receive a discount on a replacement product.[18] The used Tile could then be sent back to be recycled.[12][19] In October 2018, the Tile Mate and Tile Pro were redesigned to have user-replaceable batteries.[20] These models have lower water-resistance ratings than the models requiring factory battery replacement.[21]


Tile's developers used Selfstarter, an open source website platform, to crowdfund the project through pre-orders.

As of July 7, 2013, Tile had raised over US$2.6 million by selling preordered Tiles directly to 50,000 backers through their website.[22]

In 2014, Tile raised additional Series A funding of US$13 million led by GGV Capital and a further US$3 million from Khosla Ventures in 2015.[23][24]

Dispute with AppleEdit

In May 2020, Tile sought assistance from the European Union in a dispute it had with Apple regarding the provision of its services on Apple devices. It claimed that its app was not activated on apple devices while the FindMy service provided by Apple is activated automatically. Apple denied the allegation.[25] In September 2020, Tile joined the Coalition for App Fairness which aims to reach better conditions for the inclusion of apps into app stores.[26]


On November 7, 2013, Tile's founder Nick Evans and his company Reveal Labs were sued for allegedly stealing the Tile idea while Evans was employed by Jonathan C. Coon. The case was eventually settled out of court.[27]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Perez, Sarah (December 17, 2014). "Lost-Item Tracker Tile Arrives On Android". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 28, 2014.
  2. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (September 24, 2018). "Tile names GoPro vet CJ Prober new CEO, adds Comcast as investor and new product partner". Greenwich Time.
  3. ^ "The stuff-finding Tile now helps you find your phone". Engadget. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  4. ^ Martin, Jim (February 11, 2016). "Second-gen Tile review: the Bluetooth tracker that helps you find lost items". TechAdvisor. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  5. ^ Yurieff, Kaya (August 8, 2017). "This startup is cashing in on our forgetfulness". CNNMoney. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  6. ^ "Find Your Keys, Wallet & Phone with Tile's App and Bluetooth Tracker Device | Tile". TheTileApp.com. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  7. ^ Thornberg, Molly (July 20, 2013). "Never Lose a Thing Again with the Tile App". Babble. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Pasolini, Antonio (June 25, 2013). "Tile tracks objects with help from app users". Gizmag. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  9. ^ "Tile Pro Tracker Devices | Tile". TheTileApp.com. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Matney, Lucas. "Updated Tile Item Tracker Boasts Louder Ring, Find Your Phone Feature". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  11. ^ Tweney, Dylan (August 18, 2015). "How Tile went from crowdfunding to 2M units sold in two years". VentureBeat. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Kolodny, Lora (October 1, 2014). "Tile Picks Up $13 Million to Make Any Object Trackable". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  13. ^ Boehret, Katherine (April 1, 2015). "TrackR vs. Tile: The Lost-and-Found Face-Off". Recode.
  14. ^ Stampler, Laura (July 16, 2013). "Here's The First Ad For A Small Device That Will Never Let You Lose Your Keys Again". Business Insider. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  15. ^ VanHemert, Kyle (August 1, 2013). "Tile Might Be a Revolutionary Gizmo For Finding Lost Keys and Stolen Purses". Wired. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  16. ^ Perez, Sarah (March 31, 2015). "Tile Launches Sharing, Allowing Others To Help You Find Your Lost Items". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  17. ^ "Get Premium | Tile". TheTileApp.com. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  18. ^ Thomas, Owen (October 13, 2015). "Hardware As A Service: Tile Finds A Way To Keep Making Money". ReadWrite. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  19. ^ Perez, Sarah (July 22, 2015). "Lost-Item Tracker Tile Rolls Out A Renewal Service Offering Early Adopters Discounted Replacements". TechCrunch. Retrieved March 12, 2016.
  20. ^ "Tile's new Bluetooth trackers come with replaceable batteries". Engadget. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  21. ^ "Is my Tile dust or waterproof?". support.thetileapp.com. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  22. ^ Natasha Lomas. "Tile Grabs $2.6M Via Selfstarter For Its Lost Property-Finding Bluetooth Tags Plus App". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 11, 2014.
  23. ^ "Tile has $13M and dreams of helping Android users find their keys, too". VentureBeat. October 1, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  24. ^ "Tile snags $3 million from Khosla Ventures to build a crowdsourced lost-and-found network". Fortune. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
  25. ^ "Tile files EU complaint against Apple's alleged anticompetitive behavior". Engadget. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  26. ^ "App makers band together to fight for App Store changes with new 'Coalition for App Fairness'". TechCrunch. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  27. ^ Coon vs. Nick Evans. California: dockets.justia.com. November 7, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2014.

External linksEdit