Rumor has it that Apple is currently analyzing the possibilities provided by their iOS mobile platform and its different wireless connectivity features, such as the ability to interact with an automobile enabled by Bluetooth.
Two of the patents that have been made public describe several Apple inventions which will allow users to find their parked cars by using their iOS device to acquire guidance and information related to the vehicle. Besides, this new invention will enable iPhone users to activate several vehicle functions such as power windows, engine starter, and door locks.
Did you forget where you parked your car?
Apple seems to have discovered a method that allows you to locate your vehicle and see where it’s parked by pairing it with your smartphone via Bluetooth. In case the vehicle is indeed parked, the handset starts communicating with one of the wireless systems located within the parking space, in order to determine its exact location.
Whenever you return to a certain parking structure, your iPhone will be able to access the location system to ask for the current positioning data. Once the system provides you with this information, your iPhone compares it to the established location of the vehicle, in order to generate a route that will take you to the car.
The vehicle basically communicates with the location system of the parking structure, which is responsible for logging the position of the vehicle and for storing the data so that it can be later accessed via mobile devices. This method will definitely be appreciated by forgetful users, especially because it allows them to acquire routing directions and guidance whenever they want.
However, this method is not realistic unless parking structures are provided with wireless sensors placed in spots that allow them to determine not only the exact location of a car, but also that of a mobile device. In other words, parking structures should be provided with a sensor per row, or one per stall in order for this method to work.
Besides, the parking system will also have to be provided with microphones, cameras, and different types of sensors that have the ability to establish where a car is parked. If the car is not parked, the system will inform the owner about engine noise, running lights, or opened car doors. As far as guidance is concerned, a handset can be provided with a map transmitted via Wi-Fi or cellular, which will offer as much better positioning data as a GPS. However, in some cases, a GPS can work together with the location data provided by the parking structure in order to establish a route to the vehicle.
Locate your car using WiFiSLAM from Apple
In case you didn’t know, the Apple Company has recently started to use WiFiSLAM’s “indoor GPS”, which allows users to acquire location data even in parking structures that aren’t provided with GPS signals. This type of system is very effective, and will definitely be included in Apple’s method of locating a parked vehicle.
The second invention of the company is an application that allows you to access your vehicle via portable devices, which are virtually paired with the car so that you can control different onboard functions from the comfort of your home or office. The creation is meant to replace current automobile personalization systems provided by several manufacturers, which are based on key fobs that interact with the vehicle via radio or NFC to roll down windows, open doors, or start the engine. Apple’s invention replaces the fob with a mobile device, enabling owners to take control over their cars through different wireless protocols such as Bluetooth.
The system will probably support two mobile devices: a primary and a secondary one. However, both of them will have to pass through some security measures before accessing the vehicle. For example, you may be required to enter a password or a PIN in order to interact with the vehicle.
In some cases, the secondary mobile device will have several restrictions, the most popular one being the permission to use the vehicle only within a certain time interval. Apple engineers have definitely turned their attention towards the automobile industry, and several car manufacturers seem to support the company’s futuristic ideas. As a result, you should expect to see Apple’s inventions put into practice sooner than you expected.