Tile has announced a partnership with Intel to bring its tracking technology to laptops in order to help customers track down misplaced or stolen PCs. Intel will be providing “updated solutions” to OEMs later this year, which means we might start seeing Tile laptops in late 2020 or early 2021.
Tile trackers connect, via Bluetooth, to a Tile mobile app, which you can use to check their location on a map (if they’re in Bluetooth range). You can also set off an alarm. (It’s quite loud.) If your tracker is out of Bluetooth range, you can ping Tile’s crowd-finding network, which will send you a notification with your laptop’s location whenever it comes close to another Tile device.
Tile and Intel haven’t released a ton of details about how the Tile integration will work. Their main promise is that integrated Tiles will let you track PCs even when they’re in sleep mode. It’s possible that the specifics of Tile’s integration will vary by manufacturer. Intel says it is “working closely with PC manufacturers to determine the best Tile experience for their customers.”
We do have one example already, though. Tile’s first shot at laptop integration — the HP Elite Dragonfly — was announced at CES 2020 and is already on the market. That notebook has a physical Tile tracker built into the device. The tracker has its own separate hardware, including a battery and speaker, which means it can operate and sound its alarm for a limited time even when the Dragonfly is off. It does draw some power from the system, but the impact on battery life is a matter of seconds, according to HP.
The Elite Dragonfly is a pricey business laptop, so it might be nice to see it come to more affordable mainstream devices. Let’s just hope that the impact on battery life remains minimal in those cases, too.