Nokia's hidden treasures - designed for object tracking? | Bangkok Post: tech

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Nokia's hidden treasures - designed for object tracking?

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Sources claim Finnish phonemaker Nokia is set to launch a collection of Bluetooth and NFC-enabled "Treasure Tags" that can be attached to items from bags to keyrings so that they can be tracked when lost. 

The tags will pair with a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone via NFC and then communicate their position via Bluetooth. A supporting app will display the tag's location on a map. This means that as long as you're in range you'll never misplace a phone, house key or handbag ever again.

According to The Verge, which first broke the story, each tag will have a battery that can survive for six months between charges and the diminutive accessories are expected to launch following the latest software update to Nokia's Lumia handset range. Said update, known as the Amber update, will improve Bluetooth performance, bring FM radio performance and improve camera performance and was expected to be released before the end of July.

A source close to Nokia's plans has also suggested that the tags will be the first of a range of Lumia-centric items the company is planning to launch.

Thanks to Bluetooth 4.0, which wirelessly connects devices without putting a heavy strain on their batteries, products like Nokia's 'treasure tags,' such as the hipKey and the crowd-funded Tile, are starting to enter the market. However, until now these devices have been aimed exclusively at the iPhone as Android's operating system historically didn't support Bluetooth 4.0 -- which is why the majority of wireless fitness trackers are not aggressively marketed towards Android devices either.

However, with the release of the latest Android update, version 4.3, that support is now in place and all of the major ecosystems -- Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone -- are on parity. So expect a flood of Bluetooth-enabled gadgets and sensors designed to take advantage of this level playing field to start rolling out in the coming months.

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