For some time now you have been able to use the Google Find my Device app or web client to locate your Android devices including Phones, Tablets and Smart Watches. Now thanks to 9to5 Google looking at the latest Play services apk it seems that Google is making another play at finding things in the real world.
It’s unclear if the new ‘Spot’ system found in Play services will be an enhancement to the existing Find my network with the ability to track devices using Bluetooth rather than relying on Wi-Fi or cellular connections as it currently does, or if it will be a full object tracking service similar to Tile.
With Apple launching their closed proprietary system based on Ultra Wide Band and Amazon extending their Sidewalk system to 3rd parties there is a lot of movement in the object tracking space. While using Bluetooth for object tracking has been around for a while, only Bluetooth 5.0 and above really support the kind of advanced finding features you would want in a modern system.
With Billions of devices already in the market, there’s no doubt that if Google did turn on a Bluetooth tracking network there would be robust and wide coverage, but considering the blowback Amazon got for trying to use an opt-out system it will be interesting to watch how any such endeavour is covered and accepted. We would love to see an interoperable and open object tracking network established, of course, it’s unlikely Google system if it is for general tracking would be as open as we would like.