Apple’s long-rumored AirTag item tracker has officially been announced, and it will be available for order starting on Friday. Apple revealed AirTags during its Spring Loaded event, and we’ve learned a few more details about the item trackers since then…
Battery and design
Apple touts that AirTags have a “lightweight design,” and there are two key factors to this: water-resistance and a user-replaceable battery. Apple says AirTags are rated for IP67 water and dust resistance:
AirTag is splash-, water-, and dust-resistant and was tested under controlled laboratory conditions with a rating of IP67 under IEC standard 60529 (maximum depth of 1 meter up to 30 minutes). Splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear.
Apple also says that AirTag offers “over a year’s worth of battery life with everyday use,” and features a removable cover that makes it easy for users to replace the battery. The battery inside is a CR2032, which is a standard coin cell battery.
AirTag is also designed with a handful of privacy features in mind. One of the most notable things here are “proactive features” that are there to “discourage unwanted tracking.” Apple explains:
Bluetooth signal identifiers transmitted by AirTag rotate frequently to prevent unwanted location tracking. iOS devices can also detect an AirTag that isn’t with its owner, and notify the user if an unknown AirTag is seen to be traveling with them from place to place over time. And even if users don’t have an iOS device, an AirTag separated from its owner for an extended period of time will play a sound when moved to draw attention to it. If a user detects an unknown AirTag, they can tap it with their iPhone or NFC-capable device and instructions will guide them to disable the unknown AirTag.
Each AirTag incorporates a U1 chip, which Apple says enables unique precision tracking features:
Each AirTag is equipped with the Apple-designed U1 chip using Ultra Wideband technology, enabling Precision Finding for iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 users. This advanced technology can more accurately determine the distance and direction to a lost AirTag when it is in range. As a user moves, Precision Finding fuses input from the camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope, and then will guide them to AirTag using a combination of sound, haptics, and visual feedback.
Apple also says that AirTag is designed to integrate into iOS accessibility features:
AirTag includes support for the accessibility features built into iOS. Precision Finding using VoiceOver, for example, can direct users who are blind or low-vision to AirTag with directions like “AirTag is 9 feet away on your left.”
You can buy a singular AirTag for $29 or a pack of four for $99. Pre-orders begin this Friday, April 23, at 8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT. You can personalize AirTags with engravings and emoji as well. The first orders will arrive on April 30.
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