APPLE AIRTAGS THE NEW BIKE LOJACK?

Law

Active Member
After reading About bike locator gadgets and products that were subscription-based that worked and didn’t work for years, I waited patiently.

Working with a prolific 2032 replaceable battery and able to be pinged by a billion IPhones and Android NFC phones, This could be the perfect product to track our bikes down if ever stolen or misplaced.

Was hoping we could find creative places to put these on and in our bikes. Post your thoughts!
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
It probably won't work very well. There have been a number of attempts at similar products and none of them have got any traction.

Under the absolute optimum conditions bluetooth has a range of about 40 feet. Under realistic conditions (e.g. between walls in adjacent rooms) 10 feet is probably more realistic. So if someone stashes your stolen bike in their garage and keeps the door closed you aren't going to find it this way.
 

Hintrod

Member
Airtags Is new in the sense that it has Bluetooth like Tile but it also has a U1 chip which is in all newer Apple devices. This feature which is Ultra Wideband seems to indicate that any Apple device can note the location of your lost Airtag device and notify your phone specifically where the item was last spotted on a map. Even though it is far out of Bluetooth range from you phone.
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Airtags Is new in the sense that it has Bluetooth like Tile but it also has a U1 chip which is in all newer Apple devices. This feature which is Ultra Wideband seems to indicate that any Apple device can note the location of your lost Airtag device and notify your phone specifically where the item was last spotted on a map. Even though it is far out of Bluetooth range from you phone.
it connects to others I devices. so maybe better then tile that requires others with a tile app.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Like other devices of this type, they can easily be defeated using EMF shielding. "Professional" bike thieves are aware of these tracking devices and usually cover the stolen bike with a Faraday blanket. In addition to keeping the stolen merchandise out of sight in the back of a van or truck, these blankets effectively block almost all electromagnetic radiation.

Tracking devices of this sort can be effective against a casual thief however.
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
Like other devices of this type, they can easily be defeated using EMF shielding. "Professional" bike thieves are aware of these tracking devices and usually cover the stolen bike with a Faraday blanket. In addition to keeping the stolen merchandise out of sight in the back of a van or truck, these blankets effectively block almost all electromagnetic radiation.

Tracking devices of this sort can be effective against a casual thief however.
!Damn You Faraday!
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Unfortunately airtags won't work for this. Devices that directly connect to Apple's Find My network can do this (e.g. the latest version of the VanMoof S3 ebike) but if you hide an airTag in your bike, and someone steals it, if that person has an iPhone they'll almost immediately get a warning on the phone that an airTag is "following" them, allowing them to disable it.

This is so that people don't use airTags to covertly/illegally track people.

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Law

Active Member
Hopefully, it’ll give you enough information to figure out where it was heading for three days and I believe that is the timeframe.

This tracking feature will be hacked for sure.
 

Code54

Member
The question is: how long before they get the message? Does it take a day? or just an hour? Never found an answer yet. Thinking if I am eating dinner and my bike gets jacked I may have more than enough time to "find it" before the alert goes off.
 

mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
The question is: how long before they get the message? Does it take a day? or just an hour? Never found an answer yet. Thinking if I am eating dinner and my bike gets jacked I may have more than enough time to "find it" before the alert goes off.
good question. all i found was “your iPhone will alert you much sooner if it detects an unknown AirTag that’s moving around with you without its owner nearby.”

so it’s much less than three days.
 

Coolbob

Active Member
I researched 'Tile' and similar devices as a way to locate a fly-away drone. The problem with any bluetooth device is that it needs to come into proximity to a phone with the an app from the same manufacturer which has been granted permission by the user to recognize and report all contacts with that particular brand of tracker. With a 'Tile' device, that means having a phone with the 'Tile' app, in which the user has granted the app permission to report when it comes within 30' of a 'Tile' device. That's really a long shot. If Apple incorporates AirTag reporting as a part of the 'Find my iPhone' feature, then the number of phones which could report an 'AirTag' contact would be MUCH greater than the number of devices that could report a 'Tile' contact. The 'AirTag' could succeed where other devices have failed, not because the hardware is better, but because Apple can leverage the massive numbers of iPhone users to make the product successful.
 
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Dallant

Well-Known Member
I researched 'Tile' and similar devices as a way to locate a fly-away drone. The problem with any bluetooth device is that it needs to come into proximity to a phone with the an app from the same manufacturer which has been granted permission by the user to recognize and report all contacts with that particular brand of tracker. With a 'Tile' device, that means having a phone with the 'Tile' app, in which the user has granted the app permission to report 'Tile' devices come within 30' of a 'Tile' device. That's really a long shot. If Apple incorporates AirTag reporting as a part of the 'Find my iPhone' feature, then the number of phones which could report an 'AirTag' contact would be MUCH greater than the number of devices that could report a 'Tile' contact. The 'AirTag' could succeed where other devices have failed, not because the hardware is better, but because Apple can leverage the massive numbers of iPhone users to make the product successful.
This is the huge difference and advantage for this product. How well it works as a bike recovery tool is, of course, yet to be seen.
 

fauconnier

Member
Region
Canada
It depends where we live/ride, the recovery success should be a lot better in big cities full of bluetooth phones than in remote areas.
 
This is the huge difference and advantage for this product. How well it works as a bike recovery tool is, of course, yet to be seen.
Agreed. Apple is prolific enough that you'll basically be able to tell exactly where your bike ended up that first day/night of being stolen at least. Will it solve every stolen bike case? No, but I'm 100% confident it will increase the base chances of recovery at least. I mean heck, you could pull a freshly stolen bike into an apartment to hide it, and your neighbors will tattle on you. With the new chips offering directional and distance once you're close? You'll be able to head there and head right for your bike if you're quick enough.
 

ki11a

Well-Known Member
The Samsung SmartThings Tracker that came out a few months before the Airtags are pretty awesome tracking devices. They rely on LTE and IOT networking, comes with a free year of tracking when purchased, its 5 bucks a month after that...pretty decent.

 

WattsUpDude

Well-Known Member
I purchased a pack of Airtags a few days ago. I'm not using it as anti-theft tracker as that's not it's main function. Right now, I have them installed in our two vehicles. I park many blocks away in the neighborhoods surrounding the building where I work. I'm in a different spot every day so it's nice knowing where the car is without having to drop a pin on the map. It's really interesting to me see how often the Airtag gets pinged. On the app, it shows you the last time it was in contact with an iOS device.

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