A couple of months ago I was giving a talk in Romania - the organisers had set up a technology expo showing off some great local start-ups.
One which caught my eye was TinTag.
— Terence Eden (@edent) May 11, 2016
I've previously reviewed the Chipolo - which is a similar beacon/tracker. So I thought I'd give this one a go.
At the airport last week, I put the Chipolo on my luggage and was able to detect when it came onto the baggage carousel. I used the buzzer to quickly locate my bag. These BLE beacons work with any modern smartphone and are quickly becoming indispensable.
So, how does TinTag stack up against Chipolo?
- Blinken Lights!
- No need to create an account.
- Wireless Charging.
- Cost is €29 / £22 + shipping. That's €5 more than the Chipolo. Although you do get the charging pad and USB cable.
- Lanyard hole is a little small.
- 4 month battery life which requires an overnight charge.
- Yet another app to install!
- No open source API that I could find.
I think I prefer the TinTag to the Chipolo.
Yes, the TinTag is slightly larger - but it is sturdier and recharges using the same pad I use for my phone. Flashing LEDs are nice, and you don't need to register on the website to get all the functionality.
The app isn't brilliant - and I suspect BLE tracker support will eventually be built in to Android - but it does the job.
It's too big for a wallet or phone - but the perfect size for luggage, handbags, coats, and larger pets.