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Long-awaited tracking device Tile has finally started shipping to backers

After months of anticipation and buildup, the Tile is finally shipping.

Last summer, the small item-finding device garnered a significant amount of buzz after receiving $2.6 million in crowdfunding via Selfstarter. But the company soon experienced a number of delays and failed to meet many promised deadlines, leaving backers to wonder if they’d ever receive their long-awaited Tiles.

Now, over the Memorial Day weekend, the company announced via Twitter that it had shipped hundreds of orders to its earliest backers this past week.  Tile also noted that it would be shipping products in order of pre-order date, so the earlier you ordered the product, the sooner you will receive it.

The white Tiles are meant to help users keep track of their belongings and never lose anything valuable ever again.  Individuals just need to attach the Bluetooth-powered device to any item of their choosing — such as a wallet, purse, bike or keychain — and a synced mobile application will notify them of the Tile’s location as long as its within a range of 50 to 150 feet.

Ultimately, the company hopes to expand beyond this feature and develop the world’s biggest “Lost and Found,” by blanketing these tags all over the world.  Eventually, if enough Tiles are sold, the dongles will form one massive network and will help pick up the location of other users’ Tiles that have been reported lost or stolen.

The company said it had pre-orders for more than 450,000 Tiles, and even Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said he had ordered some.  Tile is still accepting orders on its site, with one Tile going for $19.95 and four Tiles going for $59.85.

If you’re one of the lucky backers to receive your Tile this week, the company has also released a video on its blog, explaining how to use the tags and what to expect from the product.

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