Apple helps Chipolo One Spot item tracker become a top AirTags rival

By

Chipolo One Spot launches June 2021. Price is unknown.
The Chipolo One Spot boasts an advantage over every other Bluetooth item tracker.
Photo: Chipolo

The upcoming Chipolo One Spot could rise to be a top Bluetooth item tracker. And if that happens, it’ll be with Apple’s help. The product will be one of the very first accessible through Apple’s Find My network, which means iPhone, Mac and iPad users can locate it without having to install any software from Chipolo.

The same is true of AirTags, Apple’s own much-rumored item tracker expected to be released soon.

Chipolo One Spot ties into Apple Find Me

The One Spot is a typical item tracker: a small device the user attaches to their keys, a purse, luggage, etc. Chipolo’s gizmo broadcasts a Bluetooth signal and an Apple device can be used to locate it.

What sets the One Spot apart from all its rivals is that it supports Apple’s Find My network — the same network used to find misplaced iPhones, AirPods, etc. Hundreds of millions of Apple devices around the globe create a network searching via Bluetooth for lost devices. If a lost Chipolo tracker gets in range of any of these computers, its owner can be notified of the location.

“We are extremely excited to announce the Find My-enabled Chipolo One Spot, which enables users to find more than just misplaced items and offers a solution for those which are truly lost — all while maintaining privacy using advanced encryption so user data and information is protected,” said Primož Zelenšek, CEO of Chipolo.

The accessory maker already offers other Bluetooth item trackers, but these require software written by Chipolo. And its devices could only be found by computers running that application. The One Spot doesn’t have that limitation.

The Apple Find Me app is available on iPhone, iPad and Mac.
The Chipolo One Spot can be found by almost any Apple computer.
Photo: Apple

Users can search for this gizmo with Apple’s Find My app, which comes standard on iPhone, iPad and Mac. Support for third-party item trackers was added in iOS 14.3, iPadOS 14.3 and macOS Big Sur 11.1. Besides showing up on a map, the device can ring at 120dB.

The One Spot is scheduled to launch in June 2021. Pricing is not yet available. For more information, visit the Chipolo website.

Up against AirTags and Tile

Apple’s long-rumored AirTags, which the company could unveil later this month, undoubtedly will work with Find My, too. That will make the One Spot a top competitor. But leaked details about AirTags indicate they’ll use ultra-wideband tech, not Bluetooth.

UWB uses radio signals broadcast across a broad swath of the frequency spectrum. It travels well through walls, and allows distances to be determined with great accuracy. Neither of those benefits are true of Bluetooth.

Both Apple and Chipolo are taking on Tile, the 500-pound gorilla of item trackers. This company is also making the move to UWB, but hasn’t yet announced a product with support for the Find My network.