Samsung SmartThings Find locates devices offline with UWB, Bluetooth

Given how we've become dependent on our smart devices these days, losing them can be a nerve-wracking experience, even when you're sure you only misplaced them at home. That's true not just for smartphones and tablets but also for accessories like smartwatches or even earbuds. If those happen to be made by Samsung, you can have some peace of mind thanks to the new SmartThings Find that will help you locate your device even if it's "offline" or somewhere out there in the world.

Samsung has long had a Find My Mobile feature but, as the name says, it's really limited to locating a mobile device that, more often than not, is able to connect online. It doesn't cover devices that can't do so independently of a smartphone, like most smartwatches and all wireless earbuds. Once "off the grid", those can be lost forever.

SmartThings Find fixes that problem in two ways. One is hi-tech, employing not just Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) but also the new fancy Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) wireless communication. Once a device has gone offline for 30 minutes, it starts emitting a Bluetooth signal that can then be picked up by a Samsung Galaxy phone with the new SmartThings app.

That feature is pointless, however, if you're not even within Bluetooth range which is why the system also employs a low-tech solution. It basically crowdsources the hunt for your device by potentially turning any Galaxy phone into a receiver and locator. Of course, owners will have to opt into that scavenger hunt and Samsung promises that all user data is encrypted and securely protected.

This new SmartThings Find was previously available only on the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Z Fold 2. Now the updated SmartThings app will be compatible with any Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets running Android 8 or higher. Next year, Samsung will expand the coverage to include tracking tags so you won't be limited to searching for Samsung's devices only.