Apple’s AirTag has been designed to help you keep track of things like keys. However, could it also be used as a way to prevent the theft of things like maybe your bike? A bike shop recently decided to put it to the test by strapping an AirTag to the underside of the saddle of a bike parked outside of the shop.
They then had a friend “steal” the bike and ride it to an unknown location and gave them a 10 minute head start. For those who are unfamiliar with how the AirTag can be tracked, basically it leverages Apple’s Find My network which consists of iPhones and iPads and other Apple devices in the area.
Whenever the AirTag comes close to one of those devices, it will ping the network to let it know its location. In this scenario, the bike shop owners got their first ping about 8 minutes after the bike was taken. As the bike was constantly in motion, the tracking won’t be as smooth or consistent compared to regular GPS, but the few pings it managed to send back allowed the owners to get an idea of where the bike was headed towards.
We wouldn’t suggest that you use this information to track the thieves down yourselves. In fact, Apple does not actually advertise the AirTag to be used in this way, but it could be useful information that you could give to the police.