Comcast, a U.S. internet service provider, has announced a strategic investment in Tile, a startup making Bluetooth tags that help users find lost items. Xfinity customers can use their Xfinity X1 Voice Remote to locate Tile devices and see the results of the search on the TV.
The amount of investment was not disclosed. The companies say in a statement that they hope to further create smart home solutions and continue to improve home automation processes.
Tile designs and produces a small fob, which can be chained to keys and help users find the keys on the mobile app via Bluetooth.
Under the new partnership, Comcast plans to integrate Tile’s technology into Comcast’s xFi Advanced Gateway, which supports Gigabit speeds over Wi-Fi and is compatible with other wireless standards like Bluetooth, Zigbee and Thread for home automation purposes. In other words, Comcast’s gateway will serve as an access point for Tile’s location-tracking technology.
Earlier this year, Comcast brought Tile’s technology into the Xfinity X1 Voice Remote, allowing users to locate their Tile devices and see the results on their television.
The two companies will share more information on how the technology will be used in Comcast’s smart home offerings later this year.
Starting with helping people find keys, Tile has established a real-time location-finding platform used by four million monthly active users in the world, CEO of Tile and former COO of GoPro, told TechCrunch.
The company aims to create a stronger network of nodes and location service which doesn’t rely on active users, and other kinds of tracking services that don’t need to rely on the Tile fob itself. “We’d like to embed Tile technology into anything that already uses Bluetooth,” said Prober. For instance, Tile announced a collaboration with headphone brand Bose, to integrate its tracking technology into Bose’s products.