It looks like Apple is planning a clever way to help you find things you misplace with a system called ‘AirTags’ — here’s how it’s supposed to work

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  • Apple is developing a Tile-like system called AirTags that you can attach to items you might misplace, according to MacRumors.
  • The AirTags are designed to help you find an item you’ve misplaced using the Bluetooth connection on your iPhone. It’ll also use the iPhone 11’s U1 ultra-wide-band chip, which could offer more precise tracking.
  • Longer-range tracking with AirTags could use the crowd-sourcing feature in iOS 13 that relies on the Bluetooth connection from other Apple devices.
  • It’s suggested that Apple may reveal its AirTags this year.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Apple is reportedly developing a system and devices meant to help you find objects you might lose once in a while, similar to Tile devices.

Rumors about Apple’s supposed AirTags started emerging in April. More recently, MacRumors recently got ahold of some screenshots for AirTags on an iPhone, revealing how the devices would work.

The AirTags will work with the “Find My” app in iOS, according to MacRumors. You’ll be able to place the AirTags on objects like keys and bags to track their whereabouts at home via a new “Items” tag in the Find My app in iOS.

To track your items, AirTags will use a Bluetooth connection with your iPhone as well as Apple’s new U1 ultra-wide-band chip inside the latest iPhone 11-series smartphones. Tracking with the U1 chip should offer more precision than a Bluetooth connection, but it would still mean you’d need to be relatively near your lost AirTagged items to track them down. MacRumors suggests that Apple might use augmented reality with your iPhone’s camera to show you exactly where your AirTagged item is in a room.

For longer-range tracking, AirTags might use the crowd-sourcing feature in the latest version of iOS 13, which relies on the Bluetooth connection on other iPhones, iPads, and Macs to find your own Apple devices.

Setting up the AirTags is supposedly as easy as pulling a tag on an AirTag device and placing it near an iPhone. It sounds similar to how easy and automatic it is to pair Apple’s AirPods with an iPhone. Once the AirTag device has paired with your phone, you’ll be able to name the AirTag, presumably with the name of the object you want to keep tabs on.

It’s not entirely clear when Apple will unveil its AirTags, if at all. It’s suggested we might see them by the end of this year, but we’ll have to wait and see.