An intrepid do-it-yourselfer disassembled Apple’s new AirTag and rebuilt it into something slim enough to fit into a wallet.
Watch his video with step-by-step instructions for following in his footsteps — if you dare.
How to make a wallet-size AirTag
The project was done by Andrew Ngai. “I wanted to put an AirTag into my wallet so that I can also track its location but I found out that the AirTag is quite thick and it will create a bulge in my wallet,” said Ngai. “So I modified the AirTag and gave it a new body!”
He starts by removing the plastic outer shell of the accessory from the printed circuit board. The PCB sits on top of the battery, and the plan is to put them side by side.
While it takes some delicacy with a soldering iron, Ngai doesn’t experience real problems running wires between the battery and the AirTag. He then 3D-prints a holder for the two components and the interconnecting wires.
The final result measures just 3.8 mm thick. Ngai easily popped it into his wallet, and was able to track it with the Find My app on his iPhone.
Consider the downsides
Ngai ended his DIY video with a warning, though. “I would not recommend this to anybody who’s not familiar with hands-on electronic work because some components on the PCB are really delicate,” he said.
And he did not address the drawbacks in the video. For one, an AirTag teardown by iFixit found that the tracker uses the plastic casing as part of its speaker. And Ngai removed the speaker magnet. As a result, the heavily modified tracker can’t beep to help the user locate it.
Also, waterproofing went out the window. And there’s room to question whether the handmade connections between the battery and the AirTag PCB will survive daily use.