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Samsung will release the Galaxy SmartTag Plus on April 16 for $39.99, becoming the first mainstream item tracker with support for ultra-wideband technology, The Verge reports.

samsung-smarttag-luggage.jpg

In January, Samsung announced the "Galaxy SmartTag," a small squircle-shaped device that can be used to track and locate items such as keys, bags, and more. Samsung announced two versions of the SmartTag, one that uses Bluetooth LE 5.0 technology and the SmartTag Plus variant that utilizes UWB technology.

UWB, or ultra-wideband technology, offers more precise, short-range location tracking compared to typical Bluetooth. The technology has grown in adoption in recent years as the market for supported UWB accessories is expected to grow.

Yesterday, Apple opened up its Find My network for accessories makers to take advantage of UWB in Apple devices. Under the network, accessory makers will tap into the Find My ecosystem, allowing customers to track their items on their iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Even though the Find My network is tailored for UWB accessories, the Galaxy SmartTag Plus uses
Samsung's own "Galaxy Find Network" and will not be compatible with Apple devices.

Notably, while the Find My network is open to third-party accessory makers who manufacture UWB trackers, Apple has yet to release its own. For the past nearly two years, rumors have swirled about the launch of AirTags, circular devices that would offer UWB item-tracking. Apple has yet to announce the tracker, but it is committed to opening up the Find My networks to others.

One aspect of the AirTags experience is rumored to be the ability for users to use AR inside the Find My app to get directions to their item. Samsung's Galaxy SmartTag Plus now offers that same experience, allowing customers to use a viewfinder in their UWB-enabled Galaxy smartphones to get led to the location of their SmartTag, and hence, whatever item it is attached to.

Article Link: Samsung's Galaxy SmartTag With UWB Beats AirTags to Market, Launches April 16 for $39.99
 
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Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
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It's still Samsung going up against the might of Apple's ecosystem and install base on their home turf.

At the end of the day, it's like saying the galaxy gear was released before the Apple Watch. Neither is an alternative to the other, and what people ultimately buy is still going to be dictated by their choice of smartphone.
 

bobmans

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2020
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Even though the ‌Find My‌ network is tailored for UWB accessories

Isn't this just the last step? Pretty sure the Find My Network relies on bluetooth mainly and then retrieve the exact position in a room for example through UWB (overlay some AR or whatever in the room on the exact item's position).
 

mi7chy

macrumors G3
Oct 24, 2014
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Have yet to see a decent review of BLE vs UWB accuracy and distance when placed, for example, throughout the house or office. Guess I'll have to find out for myself.
 
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CarpalMac

macrumors 68000
Nov 19, 2012
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Since when has Apple ever been first to market for anything? It’s their strategy to NOT be first to market, let the other guys figure out all the bugs and then they launch a product that does it better.
This, it has always been like this. They have never been first, they just wait and then do it. Usually better.

Headlines like "beats airtags" is unnecessary and just foments the discussion.
 
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MedRed

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Jun 9, 2007
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Since when has Apple ever been first to market for anything? It’s their strategy to NOT be first to market, let the other guys figure out all the bugs and then they launch a product that does it better.
It doesn't seem like they are letting others figure it out at all. It seems like they start working on something and either through patent leaks or rumors, others find out and rush to beat Apple to the space. Apple doesn't care and works to meet their own project deadlines. There have been countless times Apple has been beaten to a space we knew they were moving into, and it didn't impact the success of their product at all.
 

BeefCake 15

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May 15, 2015
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Since when has Apple ever been first to market for anything? It’s their strategy to NOT be first to market, let the other guys figure out all the bugs and then they launch a product that does it better.
The whole first to market argument works for products that have a high barrier to entry due to things like training, capital investment, regulatory needs etc. In tech, that is not always the case especially consumer tech.
 

jdavid_rp

macrumors regular
Feb 25, 2020
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I still don't understand why Apple is bothering with this market? It seems like a particularly small fish to fry and not an area with much room for innovation, happy to be proved wrong.
Well, this market could be huge. If this UWB tags get popular it could be implemented in other places like taxis, renting scooter/bikes, parcels...
Also if Apple lets Samsung get the market with Galaxy Find, companies could prioritize their compatibility with it instead of Apple Find My.
 
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