By Nishant Arora
If you have travelled in an Indian train or attended those nostalgic fairs in your childhood, you know how the personal stuff that went missing appeared in the ‘Khoya Paya’ (missing and found) department/office. The struggle to get your belongings was always a painful exercise. Technology came to the rescue and now, Apple has further refined it with the AirTag experience.
A disc-shaped tracking iPhone accessory, AirTag can be attached to a handbag/travel bag, housekeys, wallet, backpack or any other household items (even at the collar of your pet). It makes sure that you locate a lost item with ease, while keeping location data private and anonymous with end-to-end encryption.
Each AirTag is equipped with the Apple-designed U1 chip using ‘Ultra Wideband’ technology, enabling ‘Precision Finding’ for iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 users.
This advanced technology can more accurately determine the distance and direction to a lost AirTag when it is in range.
As you move, ‘Precision Finding’ fuses input from the camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope, and then guides them to AirTag using a combination of sound, haptics, and visual feedback.
The technology is top-class, no doubt about it. At Rs 3,190 (for single piece) and Rs 10,900 (for a pack of four), Apple AirTag will surely give you sound sleep as your personal belongings will always be safe.
Let us dig further into the useful gadget and its ecosystem in a crowded country like India while losing personal belongings is something that nearly everyone has experienced — on a Metro, inside the cab, at the airport or in a shopping mall.
Just like your other Apple devices, AirTag can be put into Lost Mode.
Then, when it’s detected by a device in the network, you’ll automatically get a notification.
AirTag is designed to discourage unwanted tracking. If someone else’s AirTag finds its way into your stuff, your iPhone will notice it’s travelling with you and send you an alert.
After a while, if you still haven’t found it, the AirTag will start playing a sound to let you know it’s there.
If you happen to be with a friend who has an AirTag, or on a train with a whole bunch of people with AirTag, don’t worry. These alerts are triggered only when an AirTag is separated from its owner.
Each round AirTag is small and lightweight, features precision-etched polished stainless steel, and is IP67 water and dust-resistant.
A built-in speaker plays sounds to help locate AirTag, while a removable cover makes it easy for users to replace the battery.
Connecting the device is super easy. Just bring AirTag close to iPhone and it will connect. You can assign AirTag to an item and name it with a default like “Keys” or “Jacket,” or provide a custom name of their choosing.
You can easily place AirTag into a bag or pocket on its own, or utilize a wide range of Apple-designed AirTag accessories, including the Polyurethane Loop, which is both lightweight and durable, and the Leather Loop and Leather Key Ring (these accessories cost separately and you can find about these on apple.com/in).
You can purchase AirTag from apple.com/in and add personalised engraving for free (like a text and a selection of emoji).
Once AirTag is set up, it will appear in the new Items tab in the Find My app, where you can view the item’s current or last known location on a map.
If you have misplaced an item and it is within Bluetooth range, you can use the Find My app to play a sound from the AirTag to help locate it.
You can also ask Siri to find the lost item, and AirTag will play a sound if it is nearby.
If AirTag is separated from its owner and out of Bluetooth range, the Find My network can help track it down.
The Find My network is approaching a billion Apple devices and can detect Bluetooth signals from a lost AirTag and relay the location back to its owner, all in the background, anonymously and privately.
AirTag requires iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 14.5 or later, or iPad running iPadOS 14.5 or later.
Conclusion: Apple AirTag is a super-easy way to keep track of your stuff. Attach one to your keys, slip another in your backpack and put one in your wallet and relax.
No more headache of looking around or checking with the missing and found department as you can now find your lost stuff right with your iPhone.
(Nishant Arora can be reached at [email protected])