According to a study on memory and retention1, once you place an item somewhere, after 20 minutes, you only retain up to 58 percent of that memory – and this further decreases over time. That means that a large proportion of people are likely to forget where they placed an item, even if it was a few minutes prior.
It was this revelation that inspired Samsung Electronics to launch Galaxy SmartTag in January 2021 as a part of the SmartThings Find service2. This compact device can be attached to your belongings such as bags, keys and more. Once a user connects and pairs their Galaxy SmartTag with their smartphone, the tag allows them to conveniently track and manage the location of that item right on their smartphones, preventing them from losing their prized possessions. And most recently, Samsung launched a new version of the tag, Galaxy SmartTag+, which uses ultra-wideband (UWB) technology to pinpoint locations even more precisely.
Samsung Newsroom met with the developers of Galaxy SmartTag to find out about the research and development that went into this innovative product, as well as how consumers can best make use of it.
▲ HanJun Ryu, Jimo Park, Jinhong Jeong, So-Ra Hyun, and Bruce Jang from the SmartThings Strategy Group at Samsung Electronics’ Mobile Communications Business pose to showcase the unique benefits offered by Galaxy SmartTag.
A Wide Variety of Potential Use
When you accidentally drop your pet's leash while walking them, or if your pet runs out when the door is open, tracking them down again can prove a real headache. However, when you attach Galaxy SmartTag to your pet’s collar, you can instantly view their location to quickly find them and bring them home.
HanJun Ryu introduced some other possible scenarios in which the Galaxy SmartTag comes in handy. “In hospitals, there is a range of movable pieces of equipment that have to be put back in the exact same place after use. If they are not returned to the right location, they can have dire consequences in an emergency. But it's not only hospitals, attaching a Galaxy SmartTag to items like these – and other objects that must be returned to specific locations, like bicycles and shopping carts – can prevent them from getting lost and save a lot of time,” Ryu explained.
More Precise Tracking, Even Over Long Distances
Samsung utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology so that users can use their mobile device to easily locate items with Galaxy SmartTags attached3. As the user gets closer to the item, the BLE signal gets stronger and the green circle displayed on their phone grows larger. “When users are close to their devices, they can tap the ‘Ring’ icon to make their Galaxy SmartTag emit a sound that allows them to easily locate their lost item, even if it's not immediately visible, like under a sofa or a seat,” explained Jimo Park.
For when your item is further away, Galaxy SmartTag includes an “Offline finding” feature. It draws help from other nearby Galaxy devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to enable users to easily locate their items. What's more, Offline finding even works when the assisting devices are not connected to Bluetooth. If a Galaxy user with Offline finding mode passes close by the Galaxy SmartTag, then the BLE signal is automatically detected and the location information is sent to the SmartThings server, which then sends the information to the SmartTag user’s smartphone. Essentially, the assisting device picks up the “SOS message” from the Galaxy SmartTag and securely passes it along to the user.
Galaxy SmartTag also has strong security features with its proprietary technology, “Private ID”. The encrypted Private ID function is designed to protect the user’s device by randomly changing the device's ID every 15 minutes to prevent the BLE signal from being misused.
On top of that, Galaxy SmartTag+ is available from today4, which uses UWB technology to provide even more accurate locating capabilities. Users can locate their missing items in real-time with augmented reality (AR) overlay and even receive location information that is precise down to the centimeter.
“I hope Galaxy SmartTag and SmartTag+ help users find lost items and give them peace of mind that their most valuable possessions have an added layer of protection,” said Ryu. “Going forward, we are excited to continue to make our users’ finding experience better – we expect it to become a must-have device that users can’t be without.”
1 The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve’ by Hermann Ebbinghaus, includes the findings of a study on memory and retention
2 Available in the SmartThings application
3 Bluetooth range is up to 120m without obstruction. Requires initial setup on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone running Android 8.0 or higher & RAM of 2.0GB or above and opt-in for location tracking through the SmartThings Find service of the SmartThings app
4 Availability may vary by market