How to choose digital tracker | Shopping Guide

trackers digital are products that, connected via bluetooth to the cell phone, help find lost items.

The most common indication of use is to use the trackers in dog and cat collar, inside the suitcase that will be dispatched on a trip or even in a backpack or keychain that accompany us every day.

If you lose or forget the tagged item – barely bigger than a large button – anywhere, the owner’s smartphone helps to locate.

This is supported by a network of other cell phones of the same brand (Apple or Samsung) that connect to the device anonymously.

In simpler models, the location occurs only by proximity to the cell phone’s bluetooth. If you lose an item and it’s out of cell phone range, it could be lost forever.

O Shopping Guide selected some tag templates – which also serve to control smart home items depending on the product – and gives tips on what to pay attention to at the time of purchase.

Apple AirTag — Photo: Disclosure

When lost, the AirTag sends a signal to nearby devices – be they iPhones, iPads or Macs – that send the location of the tag to Apple. This allows you to see the owner of the item via the Find My app on your phone or computer where the item is on the map and go there to look for it in case you’ve lost it.

Apple says that this data exchange process is anonymous and encrypted, protecting consumer privacy. The company also claims that the product is made to be used only in other items, as it has been involved in controversy over the misuse of AirTags.

In online stores, the Apple AirTag cost R$400 in October.

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iTag — Photo: Publicity

The iTag is a more limited locator: uses bluetooth to connect to the owner’s cell phone – and only to him – to find lost items, such as keys on the couch or wallet in the car. It has square and rounded versions.

The product does not have a network of other devices to exchange information and send the exact location of the mismatched object – and because of that its price in online stores was much cheaper in October, in the range of R$ 30.

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Samsung Galaxy SmartTag — Photo: Disclosure

THE Galaxy SmartTag is a locator similar to Apple’s – with the difference that use the samsung cellular network to help find lost objects and the same proposal for protecting users’ privacy.

Furthermore, has a button that can be programmed by the SmartThings app to activate smart home items, like turning on the connected lights when clicked when the owner comes home. The app can be used on phones from other brands, not just Samsung.

In online stores, it cost R$ 300 at the beginning of October.

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TileMate — Photo: Publicity

O TileMate also use bluetooth to connect to its owner’s smartphone and a global network of other similar devices – called Tile Network, similar to the one used by Apple and Samsung in their trackers and also with data sent anonymously.

It cost R$ 300 in internet stores in October.

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What to pay attention to when buying

HOW THEY WORK: The tags have an internal bluetooth antenna and use conventional batteries (like those in watches) that last an average of 1 year. A mobile app connected to the tags allows you to locate lost objects.

More advanced models, such as Apple’s AirTags and Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTags, use a network created by thousands of consumers around the world to help locate lost tags.

So if a key fob with a tag gets lost, this network of other users helps locate the item – all controlled by the product owner’s smartphone. Accuracy is around 30 centimeters away.

On the other hand, the basic models – such as the iTag – only serve to locate something within range of the owner’s own cell phone, which is usually a few meters around it. These products are more suitable for those who lose items inside the house – such as keys that fall into the sofa.

WHAT TO USE: A common example of the use of a tracker is inside a checked bag at the airport during a plane trip.

The tag’s bluetooth transmitter will send the location of the item to the cell phones of those who have Apple or Samsung in the cabin – whether it was shipped or not. The owner of the suitcase can check the app – but only he has access to that information.

Owners of other cell phones without an associated tracker cannot “see” the tags inside that plane or location, despite being part of the anonymous tracking network.

Samsung’s SmartThings app screen with a Galaxy SmartTag nearby — Photo: Playback

PRIVACY: The tags, slightly larger than a button, raise a privacy issue: are easy to hide for misuse.

Apple and Samsung say the network of devices used to locate the tags is anonymous – but unwanted applications from the product can always come up.

“Unfortunately, there are malicious people who use the product for a purpose that it was not created for”, explains Marcela Tozzini, leader of the privacy and cybersecurity area at Tozzini Freire Advogados.

“But a product like AirTag has the same privacy issues as an app that uses your location all the time, like Waze,” he says. The lawyer comments that she used Apple AirTags in her bags on her vacation, and the product helped keep her more reassured about their location.

This report was produced with complete editorial independence by our team of specialized journalists and collaborators. If the reader chooses to purchase a product from the links provided, Globo may earn revenue through commercial partnerships. We clarify that Globo does not have any control or responsibility over the eventual purchase experience, even if from the available links. Questions or complaints regarding the purchased product and/or the purchase, payment and delivery process must be directed directly to the responsible retailer.

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