Rise of the smart city: how urban life is about to change, big time
Will we ever have to look for anything again?
Thanks to new wireless networks, garbage bins can tell you when they’re full and parking spots when they’re empty
Think, for a moment, about the way the Tile could change city life as we know it. A ballyhooed indie product that drummed up $2.6 million in crowdsourced funding and is now about to hit the market, the Tile caters to people who have gotten used to finding a misplaced cellphone by calling the number and listening for the ring. If it works for phones, why not find other objects the same way?
A little white Bluetooth-enabled square that can be attached to any item—in a wallet, inside a guitar, stuffed inside a sock—the Tile will ring whenever someone uses a smartphone app to “call” it. You can use it to find a missing sock in your house, but you can also use it to locate the wallet you left on a streetcar—with the help of every other smartphone that has the Tile app installed. A whole city’s worth of phones could potentially be enlisted to cast a wireless net, looking for whatever you’ve lost.
May 5, 2014 Ivor Tossell