At its “Spring Loaded” event on Tuesday morning, Apple finally unveiled its AirTags gizmos for locating the stuff in your life that always gets lost. Things such as your keys or your suitcase.
AirTags use Bluetooth Low Energy and Ultra Wideband technology to connect back to Apple’s Find My service. You can assign an AirTag to an item and give it a default name such as “Keys” or “Jacket” or make up your own name. Then you can use the Find My app to find that item—anything that you can attach the quarter-sized tag to. For an item that’s nearby, a feature called “Precision Finding” will tell you how far away it is, and in what direction.
The tags have a replaceable battery that lasts a year. They also have a little speaker on board to sound an alarm. And, through a partnership with luxury-good maker Hermès, you can attach the tag using a stylish leather tag holder.
AirTags had been casting about in the Apple rumor mill for a long time, but today we finally learned the price. Not much sticker shock here. One tag is $29. A four-pack goes for $99. They’ll be available starting on April 30.
I’m glad that AirTags are finally reality rather than a rumor, and I think they will prove useful. Still, I think they would be more useful if Apple had applied its famous miniaturization chops to them.
Right now the tag would be hard to attach to some of the things we lose most and grieve over hardest—sunglasses and wallets. It would be great if AirTags (perhaps after losing the speaker and shrinking the battery) were small enough to stick to the inside of the arm of a pair of $200 Ray-Bans. For some of us, that would be game-changing.
And one of my deepest fears is losing my wallet. That instantly sends me into a panic and sets me up for a series of phone calls to banks and credit card companies. Burying an AirTag inside might be a bit bulky, and I wouldn’t enjoy sitting on the thing.
Maybe I’m asking a lot. But Apple is a great iterator. I wouldn’t be surprised to see AirTags get much smaller in the future.