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An Apple Airtag To Track your Car?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Suffolk Tony, May 17, 2021.

  1. Suffolk Tony

    Suffolk Tony Aim low, achieve your goals, avoid disappointment.

    I was considering one of these little devices to help me find my car keys when I've done the usual and put them down somewhere whilst I'm distracted - a depressingly frequent occurrence these days.

    I've just come across THIS ARTICLE which explains another, possibly more useful, use for the Airtag.
    venton likes this.
  2. Nero

    Nero Don’t call me Bud

    Quite an interesting idea. I didn't realise it hooked up to any local iPhone. Not sure it would satisfy my insurers though :)
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Surely that means it leaches other people’s network bandwidth? Bandwidth for which they pay a fee.
  4. KrisW

    KrisW pfm Member

    It's tiny amounts of data in the vast streams that get fed back to Apple anyway.
  5. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    It’s Bluetooth it’s not leeching anything
    Tony Lockhart likes this.
  6. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart Avoiding Stress, at Every Opportunity

    Lots of people I know with iPhones have their Bluetooth turned off almost all the time. I wouldn’t want to go hoping that a tag would help locate my car before the poor thing is smashed up/stripped/used in a robbery.
    sean99 likes this.
  7. AndyU

    AndyU pfm Member

    I’ve got an Airtag, and a monstrously expensive leather holder, for my key ring. I feel smug in that way only an Apple fanboy can. The tag works very well, and I am amused by the way it leverages the kazillions of iPhones out there to help locate it. Someone online has already used one successfully to track a package, and I am sure lots of clever uses will emerge. But there are, appallingly, concerns that they may be used by stalkers or nasty people to track their wives, though there are safeguards.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    You can’t connect to Cupertino’s server racks from a car park in Slough via Bluetooth! The tag will need to leech someone’s cellphone bandwidth to phone home.
  9. Tony Lockhart

    Tony Lockhart Avoiding Stress, at Every Opportunity

    In reality, how much bandwidth/data? Minuscule I’d guess.
  10. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    It does that anyway the only way you can stop that is to have your phone in airplane mode. Your argument is not going far
  11. KrisW

    KrisW pfm Member

    It's not Bluetooth; it's Ultra Wideband Radio (UWB), a new short-range radio data technology. The UWB standard is administered by the Bluetooth SIG, but that is as far as it goes. In band-plan and technology it's totally different.

    The phone detects nearby tags by broadcasting a "ping" signal over UWB and listening for replies (in Bluetooth, the tags periodically broadcast their ID and the phone passively listens for these). It then tells Apple the IDs of the tags it has seen. Apple then push-notifies anyone who reported their tag as missing, passing them the detecting phone's location.

    This is similar to how competitor Tile works, although Tile uses Bluetooth for detection.

    I assume there's a way for a user to turn off this reporting of other people's tags, but if there is, I guess it'll be nicely hidden, as the only value of these devices is that they can be detected outside of the range of the local radio signal.
    sean99, tqineil and Tony Lockhart like this.
  12. Rug Doc

    Rug Doc pfm Member

    Aren’t we kind to all those data-collection companies for naming our most prized possessions and then letting them track them!

    I did watch the Appme keynote saying that only you can track them, but all it takes is one software update, with one sentence well hidden in the T&C...
  13. MJS

    MJS Technical Tinkerer

    I bought some for my dogs and keys. We've nearly lost them both before. However there seems to be no way that I can tell Apple that I'm going away and to make sure the dogsitter doesn't get pinged after 3 days.
  14. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    No I think this is a balancing act at the minute for apple when to ping. Is there not a way to add the sitter to your group or something?
  15. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    Well what ever, Apple states 'Your AirTag sends out a secure Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby devices in the Find My network' thats good enough explanation for me regardless of what sits behind it.
  16. sean99

    sean99 pfm Member

    Are you out of luck if the scrote who nicks your wheels is an Android fanboi ?
  17. garyi

    garyi leave blank

    Yup! Better hope someone with an iPhone is near by. Also if some perv is tracking you the you’ll never know if you have one of those scummy androids lol

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