Samsung will release a trackable tag that it says is the first consumer mobile product to use narrowband network technology (NB-IoT). Narrowband networks connect Internet of Things devices through cellular communication bands. The networks are designed for devices that use small amounts of data and power and provides the capability to securely connect to the Internet for location services. The Samsung Connect Tag provides location information both indoors and out using GPS, Wi-Fi based positioning, and cell ID for location tracking. It also has an accelerometer and a 3-colored LED with a claimed battery life of seven days before needing a recharge. The tag currently only works with Android devices.
Samsung says it can be attached, say to a child's backpack, a dog's collar, or personal belongings like your keys or purse to track where they are. The concept is similar to Bluetooth trackers like Tile, though they depend on a phone linked to the tracker’s network coming within range of the tag to report location.
Samsung says the tag has a geofence feature to notify you when your kid, pet, or object strays beyond the limits you set. It can also be tied into Samsung’s own SmartThings ecosystem of smart devices and home appliances. For example, the tag can trigger lights to turn on when a user enters the room or send notifications when a child enters school grounds. There is also a function to request the tag's location at any given time through your smartphone which can be helpful if you’ve parked in a massive parking lot. If you've given your tag to a child, they can use the tag to send you their location details, or you can set up location alerts to be sent to you periodically to track where they are.
The square tag itself is quite small and compact at 1.19-cm thick and 4.21-cm wide. It's also dust and water proof with a battery that can last up to seven days on one charge (compared to Bluetooth trackers that last for about a year.) The tag will be showcased at Samsung's developer conference in San Francisco later this week, and will be initially sold in Korea for an undisclosed price before rolling out to other countries over the next few months.