One of the more stealthy tech lineups to emerge in recent years is the smart tracker. Starting with the Tile, which began life as a Kickstarter project, we’ve seen loads of companies introduce their own versions. Apple, Samsung, heck, even Vodacom has a version of the Tile.
All of this competition has left the Tile feeling a little neglected. Until, that is, the folks from Life360 came along to a) acquire the company and b) supply it with enough cash to punch Samsung in the face.
Shopping for Tiles
Okay, there might not be enough money to blacken the eye of the South Korean giant, but the newly-announced deal will provide the tracker company with some extra funding. The acquisition is valued at $205 million, and will see the tracker company “…provide families and individuals across all life stages with a comprehensive cross-platform solution that enables location-based finding of people, pets and things”.
That’s partly the influence of the tracker hardware being sold, but mostly it’s Life360’s network. Life360, if you’re not aware, is an app designed to keep tabs on your family members. If you’ve got it on your smartphone, friends and family can see where you are. At all times. They can see how you drive, too. Guess you can’t claim that dent in the car was there when you left.
It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Tile gets access to Life360’s 33 million users, and Life360 gets access to the more than 27,000 stores the smart tracker is in. This means the trackers will become much easier to find, in the event they go missing. Which is kinda the point. And it also means that Life360 can provide tracking for more than just people holding a smartphone. Pets, valuables, your freaking car if you want to — all of them will show up on Life360’s network shortly.