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What Are Tiles?

Posted By RFID Journal, 07.10.2014

And are they considered RFID?

—Name withheld


A Tile is a small, square device measuring 36 millimeters by 36 millimeters by 4.2 millimeters (1.4 inches by 1.4 inches by 0.2 inch) that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to enable you to track personal items. You could, for example, put a Tile on your key chain. Then, if you couldn't find your keys, you could pull out your Apple iPhone (it won't work with Android devices) and find out whether you were getting closer or further from them. You could also activate a Tile to ring, so that it could locate an item by sound. Tile was created by a startup called Reveal Labs, which has raised more than $2 million via crowd-sourcing and preordering. The company is selling its Tiles for $19.95 apiece (see Who Says RFID Tags Pose a Privacy Risk or Are Too Costly?).

Is it radio frequency identification? Well, that depends on your definition of RFID. Some would say that because a Tile employs the BLE protocol, it is not RFID. But it uses RF energy and there is a unique ID in each Tile enabling you to find your keys, instead of, say, the remote control for your television. So by our definition, yes, it is RFID.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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