With the release of iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and macOS 10.15 Catalina, Apple will also unleash a new feature that will allow devices to be located even if they are offline. The feature – called Offline Finding – will work with the use of encrypted Bluetooth signals to locate devices even if devices are asleep.
A rumored Tile competitor looks set to use the same technology, allowing them to be leashed to devices.
The feature was outed by code strings discovered in iOS 13 betas. The theory is that a device could be leashed to a beacon, with the user then notified if that device and beacon become separated. With the beacons supposedly small enough to attach to wallets, keys, and similar items the use cases are obvious.
The strings also suggest that an ARKit element is in play, too. A “star” image was discovered in the iOS 13 Find My app that may be used to help find items when they are lost.
We imagine being able to use an iPhone in AR mode to locate lost keys, for example. If the implementation works as we hope this could be one of the standout features of this year’s software updates. No information is available as to how much the required beacons would cost, though.
The Find My features will automatically be enabled for all users when the iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and macOS 10.15 Catalina updates ship in the next few weeks. Users will also need to have Bluetooth and Find My iPhone enabled, however.
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