I misplace something important every so often, and the experience is always stressful. In college, I lost my wallet at a drag show and did not get it back until the lights came up. Most recently, I dropped my ID while walking my dog at night and re-tracked the entire route in the rain, only to find the card face-down on the street, practically blending in with the white stripe of the pedestrian crossing. Through sleuthing and human kindness, I usually find what I lose, but I could save a lot of time and worry with a device such as Tile.

Simplifying the search process, Tile is a smart gadget that helps one find missing valuables with mapping and a ringtone. The small, rounded square chip can be hung, strung, taped, and tied to almost any personal belonging, ranging from wallets and journals to tablets and cars in hard-to-remember parking spaces.

The Tile’s lost-and-found network increases the chance that one’s item will be found without compromising privacy.

Tile is perhaps not so helpful for the little things in life, such as mail and accessories. Priced at approximately $25, the tracker costs more than some of the most commonly lost items, and, while its minimalist design is nice, it isn’t subtle enough to attach to the caseback of a fine watch. Tile is perhaps best paired with slightly larger, higher-value items such as keys and luggage instead.

As Tile is not GPS-enabled, it should not be relied on for finding moving targets such as pets and children either. But, it does a good job at locating inanimate tangibles, especially when you buy a bundle for family, friends, and coworkers.

Tile connects with one’s iOS or Android device via Bluetooth (check device compatibility here). At present, Bluetooth broadcasts a signal up to 100 feet, so the range is limited, though one’s reach can be amplified when other people check the free Tile app.

Whenever a Tile user checks the app, their phone will send out a signal to any and all Tiles in range. The phone will secretly flag one’s Tile and alert only the owner where the article has been detected. In this way, the Tile’s lost-and-found network increases the chance that one’s item will be found without compromising privacy. The details will only be viewable to registered users, the owner, and any friends and family with shared access. Tile is currently the only key finder with a sharing feature.

As one approaches the Tile, the Bluetooth signal strengthens and a circle graph fills in so that it is clear the search party is on the right track. Once one is within 30-50 feet of the target, one can “ring” the device. That’s right, with Tile, possessions call out like sirens. When I tried out the device in my apartment, I could hear its distinct, mechanical song from the other room.

Each Tile lasts at least one year. Though the battery may continue to function, it is recommended to invest in a replacement Tile rather than pushing the limit. At the end of its life, a Tile should be sent back to the company for recycling and replaced with a fresh model.

After testing the Tile app, Gessato is proud to announce that we have the opportunity to share this handy technology with our readers. We are giving away one new Tile to one lucky winner. Enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter widget below.

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Holly is a poet from Kentucky. She grew up first in a Sears house, then on a farm. She studied English and Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College and moved to Manhattan for love. As an occasional jewelry-maker and museum patron, Holly favors wearable and functional design but is eager to see work that challenges her aesthetics. Read more and connect by visiting her blog, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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