Use Apple's Find My Network with micro:bit

Use Apple's Find My Network with micro:bit

Joshua Lowe
Joshua Lowe

At yesterday's "Spring Loaded" event, Apple announced and showed off "AirTag" and their new Find My network for third party accessories.

The network allows Airtag and other third party devices to anonymously ping iPhones around them to relay a location of the device to the owner via the Find My app.

Apple has been shipping the Find My app on iOS devices for a number of years. It uses the Find My network with Openhaystack builds upon.

With Apple now opening the the find my network to third parties, the developer community has taken advantage and released a tool called "OpenHaystack", which allows devices like the BBC micro:bit to be added to Apple's Find My network to turn it into a tracking device.

Here's a quick explanation of OpenHaystack from its developers:

OpenHaystack is an application that allows you to create your own accessories that are tracked by Apple's Find My network. All you need is a Mac and a BBC micro:bit or any other Bluetooth-capable device. By using the app, you can track your accessories anywhere on earth without cellular coverage. Nearby iPhones will discover your accessories and upload their location to Apple's servers when they have a network connection.

-OpenHaystack GitHub Page

To get started, you can follow the guide below to get started with OpenHaystack and adding their micro:bit to the tracking app:

Build your own ‘AirTags’ 🏷 today! Framework for tracking personal Bluetooth devices via Apple’s massive Find My network. - seemoo-lab/openhaystack

Once added, your micro:bit will send a Bluetooth advertisement which a nearby iPhone will pick up and will send an encrypted GPS location report to Apple's server which will feedback the location to OpenHaystacks version of Apple's Find My app, allowing you to view the location from your mac.

For now, OpenHaystack only supports micro:bit v1 and not v2, so you'll need to have one of those to use this functionality.

We can't wait to try this out for ourselves, it has the potential to be applied to some really fun projects like item trackers.