Tested: Tile’s new $16 custom-encoded Lost and Found Labels might help recover misplaced gear

Tile Lost and Found Labels review

Tile is best known for its Bluetooth item trackers, the Mate, wallet card-style Slim, and the Pro variant, many of which we went hands-on with previously, but the brand updated its lineup with the new Lost and Found Labels last month. These low-tech QR-coded labels are essentially custom-encoded stickers that help to track down misplaced items, and we have now had a chance to go hands-on with them for a couple of weeks to see what they are all about. Head below for our review of the new Tile Lost and Found Labels as part of our ongoing Tested with 9to5Toys series. 

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Tile Lost and Found Labels review

The new Tile Lost and Found Labels are very much what they sound like: Stickers you can apply to various items – notebooks, computers, bike helmets, water bottles, and just about anything else a typical sticker might adhere to – in order to help keep tabs on them. Rather than using the Bluetooth tech we use with more high-tech trackers, they simply provide a QR code you can insert your contact info into so someone who finds your misplaced gear can let you know. 

Stick Lost and Found Labels to your favorite items like tablets, lunchboxes, water bottles, and more. Use our free app to activate each Label. If anything gets lost, your return details can be accessed by scanning the QR code on the Label.

The Tile Lost and Found Labels come in a three-pack (15 labels in total) in different colorways at $14.99 (with free shipping across the US for orders over $35). 

Here’s a closer look at the spec sheet:

  • Adhesive back
  • Uses QR technology
  • Battery-free
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Scratch resistant
  • Works with Android and Apple devices
  • Pack includes three sheets of five labels (15 total)
  • Compatible with Tile app version 2.104.1 and newer

9to5Toys’ Take

It essentially works like this: You can scan one of the Lost and Found Label stickers into the Tile app, choose a category for the item it will be associated with, name said label in the app, throw in your choice of contact info (email and/or phone number), and it’s good to go. 

You then stick it to your item of choice previously set up in the last step, and that’s it – they are literally just your average sticker with nothing overly robust about the materials used here.

If someone finds your item, they can use the camera app on their phone to “scan” the sticker and get bounced to a dedicated Tile webpage that is automatically set up for you. It reads, “This item has been lost, please contact me. Thank you!” A brief explainer tells the person who found your item that someone has registered it with a Lost and Found Label and to contact them – using the details you filled out during the scanning process detailed above. A simple “email the owner,” for example, link is presented, and the person who found your gear can then choose to send you an email. 

It’s an all-in-all simple and quick process – once the Tile app was downloaded and I made a quick account, the entire process of setting up a Lost and Found Label took no more than three minutes in total. That particular label and any others you might choose to scan in and set up then reside in the app under the “Tiles” section as individual trackers of sorts. You can click on any of the labels to further edit the details you initially added, including the email address, phone number, and a brief message for the individual that finds your gear. You can also change the category for each Lost and Found Label (tech, MacBook, scooter, notebook, and many others, or create your own) as well as have the option to repurpose the sticker or transfer ownership of said label if, for whatever reason, you need or choose to do so. 

There’s no Bluetooth tracking or any of the higher-tech features found on the traditional Tile trackers or something like Apple’s AirTag here – just a simple QR-scannable sticker that is specifically attached and linked to the contact information you selected. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before nor is it some kind of groundbreaking technology, but it is a lightweight, simple, and relatively affordable solution for connecting some contact information to just about anything you can stick a sticker on. 

Some folks I spoke with about the product immediately asked about the privacy and security issues at play here – you are, after all, essentially putting your phone number and/or email address literally out in the wild with the hopes that what will likely be a stranger will find it. But in the end, just about all of us readily hand out an email address, and if you practice proper password diligence – please stop using simple passwords if you, for some reason, still are – it doesn’t seem to present all that much of an issue to me. 

This also brings up another thing to mind: The whole process relies on some good Samaritan actually wanting to return your lost item as well as taking the time to scan the bar code (if they even realize that’s what the Lost and Found Label sticker is for). The entire process of “finding” the item, flashing the QR code in front of my iPhone camera, and being presented with the aforementioned contact page was in fact a flawless and extremely fast one, however. 

In the end, the new Tile Lost and Found Labels do exactly what they say on the tin. You’re not going to be able to take proactive action to recover your lost item, but they do provide the chance of doing so that you might not have had otherwise. There is no range limitation here as well – theoretically (I didn’t have a chance to actually test this aspect of them) you could recover your item from someone hundreds of miles away or even in another country, unlike a typical high-tech item tracker (for the most part). 

Buy the Tile Lost and Found Labels

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