Nokia's new Treasure Tags  are getting some buzz and some criticism this morning, as the very basic accessory gets compared to existing products from companies like Tile . But Nokia has one important thing to offer that Tile doesn't: Huge name recognition.
This morning Nokia unveiled the Tags , small devices with NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity that users can attach to anything they want to keep near, like a key chain or wallet. When a tagged device is separated from a user's phone, both will beep. Users can find the tagged device by following the beep or locating it on a map on the phone.
For now, the Tags only work with Lumia phones that have a recent software update known as Black. But Nokia said that apps will be available soon that will allow the Tags to work with iOS and Android devices.
The Tags have many shortcomings compared to Tile, a crowdfunded company that offers a similar concept. For instance, the Treasure Tag app shows users on a map the spot where the Tag lost its Bluetooth connection. That means if the item moves on from that spot, it's lost. That alone makes the Tags relatively useless if customers hope to use them to track a stolen item or even a pet. The Tags are also physically large and have batteries that only last about six months.
However, Nokia's launch is another step toward making the Internet of Things a mainstream phenomenon. While companies like Tile created a lot of buzz among technology fans, the mass market is relatively unaware of this category of product. A big name like Nokia will change that, and as users jump aboard, Nokia and others will no doubt improve their products.
Judging from the comments after a Nokia blog post  introducing the Tags, people are already letting their imaginations run with the idea. People posted that they hope to attach Tags to their kids and jewelry. One person said he's a farmer and wants to use them on his animals.
Nokia will have to rein in expectations a bit given that the Tags won't be useful for some of those applications. But given enough customer interest, Nokia, and others, have an opportunity to produce a product that meets the demand.