Samsung is releasing a SmartThings tracker that’s powered by LTE-M (instead of Bluetooth) to help you find stuff. The cellular network allows it to be used for real-time location tracking for your pets and kids as well as misplaced items. The power button on the tracker, when pressed twice, will send its location through the SmartThings app, and there’s also an option to send an SOS.
The tracker is compatible with other Samsung SmartThings devices so it can be used in conjunction with other smart home products like lights, thermostats, and security cameras. For example, you can use the tracker as an arrival sensor, which will trigger lights to turn on when the device is in range. You can also use it for geofencing areas that will automatically alert you when the tracker goes in and out of it. The tracker is water-resistant for indoor and outdoor use, and the battery can last up to a week on a single charge.
The idea for Samsung’s SmartThings Tracker is similar to the Bluetooth trackers for your wallet and keys that we’ve seen before from companies like Tile and Chipolo. However, these Bluetooth trackers, while cheaper and smaller, have limited ranges that stop at about 200 feet or rely on crowd GPS to find missing or stolen objects that have slipped past that range. The SmartThings Tracker relies on an LTE-M connection, a low power network made specifically for IoT devices, so it’s not limited by range. And while a smartphone might be one way you already monitor your kids’ location, clipping this onto their backpacks, for example, might give you a better idea of where they are in case their phones run out of battery or they need a discreet way to send an SOS.
All that comes with a modest price tag: the tracker is available for $99 with AT&T service included for the first year, and $5 a month (or $50 a year) for AT&T service afterward. It’s available from Samsung.com or AT&T stores starting on September 14th, and it will be available through Verizon later this year.