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mckinney3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2022
18
18
I placed a "lost" article with an AirTAg in a wooded area out of curiosity to what if any traffic would ping the tag and report location. I had already determined that Tags are not reported as to location of the tag but the location of the iPhone that pinged the tag, But I was not prepared for the information in the location reports.

Please see the attached graphic:
The Yellow Dot is the true location of the AirTAg that has never moved.
The Red Dots are locations of reports that are obviously from vehicles on the adjacent road or the sub-division on to the far right.
The Blue Dots are walk in traffic to the closed road in this wooded park.

What shocks me is the detection distances which are on the order of 300 feet to 2000 feet from the AirTag. My hypothesis for the 400 plus feet pings is that the iPhone pings the AirTAg along the road in the moving vehicle but there must be a delay involved before reporting to the Apple Mothership and the reported location is NOT where the AirTag was pinged but where the iPhone is located when connecting and reporting.

I am also surprised that even a walk in (Blue Dots) get pinged and reported at 250-300 feet from the physical location of the AirTAg. I was thinking that a ping/report would occur at 30-50 feet.

So look at the attached map and tell me where I would go to find my lost object if I did not know where it was. For the 250 foot spots, my iPhone will also ping the AirTAg and once the iPhone states I am in possession, then I can navigate to the physical location .

I am very interested in your observations and comments!

AirTag Distances.jpg
 
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waw74

macrumors 601
May 27, 2008
4,710
972
that 2000 foot one is a driveway,

it's possible they picked up the ping on the road close to the bag, but for whatever reason the phone didn't send it until they parked. and sent the location of where it was when it updated to apple, not where it heard the ping.

I've had location take a while to lock occasionally, so it could be the phone was slow to figure out where it was.

it's quite possible all of the other longer distances are the same. but they just happened a bit quicker.

not sure what the speed limit is on that road, but 35 miles/hour is about 50 feet/second,
for 750 feet, that's about 15 seconds.
 

mckinney3

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 19, 2022
18
18
Thank you waw74. I agree with your comments. I am sure that the car based iPhone pings the airtag at whatever spot on the road is the closest sweet spot. Then ALL the report locations are just offsets based on connect time and travel speed.

Makes for a very confusing find of a lost possession in a high vehicle traffic location.
 
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