Apple’s had the AirTag, a Bluetooth tracking tile that isn’t unique to the fruit company, for some time now. Samsung’s Tag is another example of the tech. Now Google’s working on ‘Grogu’, its own Bluetooth-enabled sliver of hardware designed to help you keep track of things. At least, that’s according to information found in Android code by several researchers.
Information tracked down inside Google’s software suggests that the upcoming tracker will include several features. There’s a speaker — one of its references is ‘groguaudio’ — as well as Bluetooth LE and UWB (ultra-wideband) support. It’s that last point that’s quite interesting.
UWB will let Google’s tracker be more precisely located than if you’re just using Bluetooth to determine where you left your luggage. The tricky bit is that your phone will need the tech built into it. Google’s newer Pixel smartphones, iPhones from the 11 onwards, and Samsung’s Fold 2 and S21 lines onwards all have ultra-wideband support but it hasn’t been used extensively. Tracking down your missing gear seems like an interesting use.
Of course, this rather relies on an extensive tracking network if you’re hoping to pinpoint your lost items. Android devices are far and away the largest network on the planet so accurate positioning should be possible. But that’s not necessarily the best thing for its users. Apple’s AirTags rely on Apple’s own networks for tracking and there’s loads of potential for abuse. Larger network, a larger potential for abuse?
As for when Grogu will make it to market? That’s a complete mystery. Google’s I/O, set for some time in May this year, is the most likely candidate for an announcement.