Phones are (usually) always connected to a network, so tracking them when they are lost isn't too difficult, but the same is not true for most other devices. Apple has been experimenting with using Bluetooth and ultra-wideband wireless signals to track the location of devices without Wi-Fi or cellular connection, and now Samsung is introducing similar technology with its own products following a few months of testing.

"Samsung Electronics today announced the launch of SmartThings Find," the company wrote in a news release, "a new service that helps you quickly and easily locate Galaxy devices. After 6 million users across Korea, the U.K. and U.S. signed up for early access to the service, SmartThings Find is ready for a global launch on devices running Android 8 or later." Besides the company's Android devices, SmartThings Find also works with Galaxy Watches running Tizen 5.5 or later, Galaxy Buds+, and Galaxy Buds Live.

The service uses a combination of Bluetooth Low Energy and ultra-wideband wireless to determine the location of devices. Bluetooth LE is common on smartphones these days, but the ultra-wideband functionality is only available on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold2 right now. Once you complete a quick registration process, you can use the SmartThings app to select the device you want to locate, which should display a map.

The functionality can also optionally use crowdsourced data from other Samsung devices. The company said, "SmartThings users can now opt in to securely use their Galaxy smartphone or tablet to help others locate their lost devices. [...] If you report your device as lost via SmartThings Find, any nearby Galaxy smartphone or tablet that has opted into helping find misplaced devices can alert the Samsung server about its location, which will in turn notify you. All SmartThings Find user data is encrypted and securely protected, ensuring that the device’s location is not revealed to anyone except its owner."

Samsung also revealed that it will release a tracking tag "early next year" that will support SmartThings Find, presumably similar to products like Tile. It's unclear if the upcoming tag would support both Bluetooth LE and ultra-wideband, or just stick with Bluetooth to keep costs down.