With Tile, there's no such thing as finders, keepers. After becoming merely a hype since word of it came out and a year of delay from its promised time of shipping, the company announced that it started shipping hundreds of the lost item finder device last week via Twitter.
Proving the product shipment of Tile, the company re-tweeted one customer's receipt photos and promised to publish the complete list of shipment schedule soon. It said shipment will follow the date of the pre-order placement, so the nearly 50,000 earliest backers can expect to get devices first.
Tile is a Bluetooth-powered small device that can be stuck, attached, hung or even dropped into any personal items or belongings that one fears losing, such as bags, wallets, laptops, keys, bikes and guitars, among others.
"Mike [Farley] and I started this company because we wanted to solve a massive problem that we all have - losing stuff. It is a waste in every way - money, replacement, time, and emotion," says Tile CEO and co-founder Nick Evans in a previous blog post.
Through a SelfStarter crowdfunding campaign software, the company raised $2.6 million around a year ago to start production of the Tile device. The pre-order shipment, however, kicked off just last week.
During the time Tile was stuck in production, other companies, such as Lapa, TrackR, Duet and StickNFind, sprouted in the market hoping to tap consumers interested in such devices and exploit Tile's inability to meet its promise and demand. Regardless, Tile remains the hottest piece consumers have been waiting for, based on research.
Tile further gained attention and following when Steve Wozniak, co-founder at Apple, placed some orders of the device. Wozniak also got invited for a company visit and posed for a picture that went viral online. Some say it isn't a surprise since the device only works with iPad Mini, iPhone 4S, iPad 3rd generation and iPod Touch 5th generation. It doesn't work with Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone devices for now. For the Tile device to work, a mobile app needs to be installed in the iOS device, which helps the owner track down the lost item from where it was last seen or located.
Research says Evans came out on "The Power Pitch" reality show at CNBC late last year, which is a show that convinces venture capitalists to invest in startups. In fact, Byron Deeter of the Bessemer Venture Partners and David Wu of the Maveron company invested in Tile for an undisclosed amount.
The Tile device will last for one year after its activation, and the company will remind owners once time is up. The device doesn't need batteries. The company still accepts orders for $19.95 per piece and $59.85 per four tiles, or more.
Here's a video to learn more about the Tile device: