Apple has announced its location tracking AirTag with support for personalization, precision finding with ultra-wideband U1 chip, Find My network support, and accessories to help attach them to luggage and other things.
Apple announces AirTag for $29
AirTag takes advantage of the recently announced Find My network to anonymously share location across Apple’s network of iOS devices. This means that even if an Internet connection is not available, their location can still be tracked via Bluetooth.
Each tiny AirTag is packed with tons of features. On the outside, Apple lets users customize them with text and emojis, which are laser etched on its polished stainless steel surface. On the inside, AirTag is packed with an accelerometer, Bluetooth LE, NFC, and an ultra-wideband U1 chip. A built-in speaker allows the tracker to alert the user, while there is support for an NFC so that any NFC-equipped smartphone can tap it to active Lost Mode.
The U1 chip in AirTag can work with iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 to support Precision Finding, which is a combination of ARKit, camera, accelerometer, and gyroscope used to guide users to its location with accuracy. When the AirTag is in range, it makes a sound through its speaker to notify the user. Users can also ask Siri or just the Find My app to find their AirTag.
AirTag is also water and dust resistant with IP67 rating. Apple has also done something unusual for its products and added support for user-replaceable batteries. With a new battery, AirTag will give over a year of battery life, so battery changes will not be required often.
In terms of software, Apple has created software features like unwanted tag detection, audible alerts, and rotating identifiers, to help easily find AirTag, and also protect user privacy. The Find My network features end-to-end encryption which means that the AirTag’s location will not be shared with anyone, including Apple. Rotating identifiers means that the Bluetooth identifiers transmitted by an AirTag rotate frequently to prevent unwanted location tracking.
Kaiann Drance, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing, said in the official announcement:
“We’re excited to bring this incredible new capability to iPhone users with the introduction of AirTag, leveraging the vast Find My network, to help them keep track of and find the important items in their lives. With its design, unparalleled finding experience, and built-in privacy and security features, AirTag will provide customers with another way to leverage the power of the Apple ecosystem and enhance the versatility of iPhone.”
Apple also announced that a bunch of accessories will be available, including Bag Charm, Key Ring, Travel Tag, and Luggage Tag from Hermes.
A single AirTag will be available for $29, while a pack of 4 AirTags will be cheaper and cost $99. Orders start on Friday, April 23, and they will be available starting April 30.