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iBeacons for cars: location tracking, call functions

iBeacons for cars: location tracking, call functions

by Cagan EGE2013/12/12

Apple has received a patent for an iPhone ‘controlled’ accessory that may be used for tracking cars. The system utilizes the features of “Find My iPhone” to track specific functions such as opening the trunk and heating the car and to find the  location of the car. It would even be possible to have it open in order to load, while the rest of the car doors will remain closed. Messages automatically passed by a trunk system  from car to a mobile device such as an iPhone and thus  a signal from the location of the vehicle can be tracked.  IOS devices and Macs have similar tracking system with “Find My iPhone”, however, the idea in the 15-page patent application goes one step further. If the vehicle and the user are close enough to each other in the neighborhood, a second signal can perform additional functions such as  opening, thawing and heating the car. But functions like turning on the car, opening truck, heating the engine etc. are already presented by many modern cars with the remote control.

By the system you can create so called geo-fences, which means that certain functions and order can be arranged according  to your location. meaning that once you get to a certain location or certain acts that leave be executed. The system described by Apple for vehicles, works in a similar way as  the Reminders app does. With the iPhone one or more geo-fences can be created, which are based on the location of the car. For example, you can adjust engine start automatically when you get close to the car more than 5 meters.

Geofences can also work on the basis of time. Based on your location it calculates your speed  and meanwhile, the heater may already be turned on so you get  instantly warmed when you drive away. This idea also embroiders upon iBeacons , a new system from Apple that using Bluetooth Low Energy in shopping deals and relevant information can be pushed to an iPhone


The patent has been filed in June, but only awarded in November and published. It is striking that the patent registered only in Europe. Apple registers patents simply to claim certain ideas. It does not mean that it will actually lead to a (new) product Apple announced iOS already in the car, with which iOS devices can be easily connected with cars. The first cars to support this are coming early next year on the market. Ultimately, this system should lead the iOS to be actually built into cars.


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