Samsung is releasing a new type of tracking tag that can be attached to just about anything and offers smart location notifications over cellular. The Connect Tag was announced yesterday and is the first of its kind to use narrowband network technology (NB-IoT, Cat.M1). This means it can connect to the internet without consuming too much power, leading to a battery life of up to 7 days on a single charge.
The tag can utilize GPS, WPS, and Cell ID to accurately determine location before relaying it to your phone. It will link up with Samsung's SmartThings hub, and its geo-fence feature can be used to trigger certain actions when the two are in close proximity. For example, if the tag is on your keys, SmartThings could detect that you've arrived home from work and turn the lights on or open the door.
|Dimension/Weight||42.1 x 42.1 x 11.9 mm / 25g|
|Cellular IoT||NB-IoT, Cat.M1|
|Connectivity||BLE, Wi-Fi (WPS & FOTA), mUSB 2.0|
|LED||3 colors status LED|
|OS Support||Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above, iOS 10 and above (end of 2017)|
|Controller App||Samsung Connect|
You'll find the words "minimize anxiety" twice in Samsung's press release, to emphasize the use of the tag for tracking pets or children. There's a button on the tag that will instantly send its location to a phone, which could be very useful for parents. Periodic location notifications can also be set up. While there are many Bluetooth trackers out there that will help you find things if you have a vague idea where they are, there's nothing that comes close to the Connect Tag in terms of range and battery life, thanks to the new narrowband network tech.
Samsung's tag is small enough to be inconspicuous in most use cases (4.21cm), and it's also waterproof. We'll likely find out more about the device at the Samsung Developer Conference 2017 which starts tomorrow. It will go on sale in Korea soon, before being made available elsewhere "in the coming months." The tag contains an eSIM for data, but it remains to be seen which carrier would be willing to offer a plan for it.