What you need to know

  • Apple's rumored tracker will reportedly feature ultra-wideband technology.
  • Ultra-wideband technology is said to be far more precise compared to Bluetooth LE.
  • Apple's upcoming iPhone models are also expected to feature ultra-wideband technology.

Apple's rumored Tile-like tracker will reportedly feature ultra-wideband (UWB) technology when the device is unveiled next week. If true, Apple's tracker could be much more accurate than Tile, which relies on Bluetooth LE.

Apparently, UWB is up to 100x more accurate than Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi, so users should be able to track down the Apple tracker—and whatever it's attached to—to its precise location.

Electronic Design explains:

In practice, UWB signals are able to effectively measure distance between two devices with 5- to 10-cm accuracy, compared to roughly 5-m accuracy for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. When implemented in a system of fixed beacons tracking tag locations, the locations can be calculated to within 10-cm accuracy.

The distance between two UWB devices can be measured by observing the time it takes for a radio wave to pass between them, Electronic Design said.

Coincidentally, Apple's next iPhone models are expected to come equipped with UWB, suggesting the company's tracker has been designed to specifically work with Apple's latest smartphone. It's unclear if Apple's tracker will also support Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi.

Yesterday, it was revealed that Tile was sending care packages to journalists, seemingly urging people not to forget them. If Apple's rumored Tile-like device really does feature UWB, and the technology really is that precise, no wonder Tile is nervous.

Over the past few weeks, several reports have revealed detailed information about Apple's alleged Tile-like device. Along with UWB, the tracker is said to feature leashing capabilities and support for ARKit. We should learn more at Apple's September 10 event.