OK. I’ve put down money on a product which isn’t even made yet.
Brave, rash, maybe even foolish.
But when I get my Tiles I know they’ll be good. If you don’t know, they’re little tags which use Bluetooth Low Energy and can report their location remotely. You can also locate them on a map via an app, in much the same way that iOS finds lost devices.
Here are just five reasons why I’m excited about these little slivers of plastic.
1. I lose things. Whether it’s the fact that I’m male, approaching the age where I have “senior moments” or having a permanent cognitive deficit, I’m never sure where things are. Tiles fulfil a need - the universal and everyday need to find things. For that reason I’m admitting them into my personal space.
2. Tiles fit in with my digital life. The app will enable me to access information about their location in a way I’m used to accessing info.
3. Tiles will crowdsource the location info. The Tiles network helps find other lost tiles without compromising your personal info. That has to be a great model for collaborative services in the future.
4. The founders Mike Farley and Nick Evans are also self-starting the funding. Going direct to potential backers and buyers they’re selling the first batch direct and raising the money direct. Not a VC or hedge fund in sight. Just Amazon payments and a direct route to the customers. There’s nothing to stop anyone doing this. These guys did it.
5. Tiles bridge the physical /digital divide. So far most of the great ideas and disruptive plays have been in the digital space, notwithstanding a few funky players such as Evrything which connects products to the web and social. This is the start of the internet of everyday things for everyone.
Bottom line – Tiles will change my life, but I’m betting on the launch of Tiles to be a moment which will change the way we view the connection between real world objects and digital.
In the meantime the nice people at Tile are going to update me on the progress and I should get my batch by Christmas. Until then I’ll be leaving my keys in a place where I can find them, or as usual, “crowdsourcing” location info the traditional way by calling “anyone seen my keys?”