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Apple wants to use iPhone Bluetooth to locate, interact with cars

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
A pair of patent filings discovered on Thursday reveal Apple is actively investigating the possibilities afforded by the iOS mobile platform's various wireless connectivity options, including the ability to interact with, and at times control, a Bluetooth-enabled automobile.

Location
Source: USPTO


The two patents, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, describe Apple inventions for using an iOS device to find a parked car in a parking structure, getting guidance to said car, gathering parking fee information and, once near the automobile, activating vehicle functions like door locks, power windows and the engine starter.

First, Apple's "Method for Locating a Vehicle" outlines a method in which a mobile device can pair with a vehicle via Bluetooth to determine whether it is in a parked state. If the condition is met, the handset then communicates with a wireless system within the parking structure to determine a parking location before moving away from the vehicle.

Location


When returning to the parking structure, the mobile device can access the parking structure's location system to request current positioning data. The received information is then compared to the vehicle location already stored on the device to determine a route back to the car.

In another embodiment, the automobile itself communicates with the parking structure's location system, which logs the car's position and stores the data for later access by a mobile device. This method also allows the parking system to handle guidance and routing directions, which are subsequently sent to a handset upon request.

Digging deeper into the filing's language, Apple's invention calls for the parking structure to hold an array of wireless sensors that are deployed in such a way as to determine the location of a car and a mobile device. An example would be one sensor per stall, or one per row. The system can use Bluetooth technology to transmit positioning data, as well as guidance data if necessary, to the mobile device.

Location
Illustration of parking structure.


Further, the parking system can also incorporate cameras, microphones and other sensors to determine whether a car is in a parked state. Such information would include an opened car door, active running lights or engine noise. In some embodiments, a user can manually inform the system that a car is parked by interacting with a digital interface either in the vehicle or on a mobile device.

Regarding guidance, a handset can receive a map over cellular or Wi-Fi, which can have an overlay of current positioning data much like a GPS navigation system. Indeed, in some examples, GPS can also be used in concert with the parking structure's location data to determine a route back to the vehicle.

Location


As a side note, Apple recently acquired "indoor GPS" firm WiFiSLAM, which developed technology to serve up location data within structures where GPS signals are usually absent. Such systems could be implemented effectively in the utility filing described above.

In Apple's second car-related patent application, titled "Accessing a vehicle using portable devices," a mobile handset pairs securely with a car over Bluetooth or other suitable method to control various onboard functions.

The invention is basically a more intelligent replacement for existing automobile personalization systems offered by some manufacturers. These methods usually rely on key fobs, which interact with the car via NFC or radio to open doors, roll down windows, start the engine, and so forth. Instead, Apple proposes a mobile device take the place of a fob to offer enhanced control of the vehicle through wireless protocols like Bluetooth.

Vehicle


As noted in the filing, the system can support a primary and a secondary mobile device. Both would use proven authentication methods to access the vehicle, thereby allowing said devices to act as a security point in lieu of a key fob. A user can set preferences to cause the system to act automatically, or have greater control by requiring a PIN or passwords before a device unlocks and interacts with the car.

Some embodiments allow restrictions to be placed on the second mobile device, such as authorization to start the engine only within a given time period, for example between 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. Further limitations can include speed, entertainment options, number of "uses" allotted and GPS-based fencing, among others.

Besides describing the variety of functions available for operation, much of the patent application focuses on authentication techniques and device-to-car security.

Vehicle


Apple is apparently looking to take advantage of popular "infotainment" systems a number of auto makers include in their vehicles, which usually carry some sort of wireless communications protocol such as Bluetooth. While it is unknown if and when the pair of patent applications will be used in a consumer product, a number of car manufacturers have already signed on to support Apple's "eyes-free" initiative.

Both of the applications were filed in 2011 and credit Brian J. Tucker, Emily C. Schubert, Jess L. Dorogusker, Joakim Linde; Joakim and Stephen Chick as their inventors.
post #2 of 10
"These wireless patents from Apple are getting a bit long in the tooth" /s
post #3 of 10
in grad school, i had to architect a system similar to this.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
When returning to the parking structure, the mobile device can access the parking structure's location system to request current positioning data.
...
In another embodiment, the automobile itself communicates with the parking structure's location system, which logs the car's position and stores the data for later access by a mobile device.
...
 the handset then communicates with a wireless system within the parking structure to determine a parking location

 

So first, you need garages with "location systems" and their own parking stall database server with WiFi.

 

Sounds like an invention that might be used in future Apple campus parking garages.  Perhaps in some fancy mall garages, too, one day.

 

In New York City, the high-rise garage valets do all this.  A driver doesn't go find their own car.  1wink.gif

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

"These wireless patents from Apple are getting a bit long in the tooth" /s

So stale. Soon all public spaces will be running tired old IOS for their private mapping service (PMS).

This will give new meaning to the term "loser" -— someone who isn't wearing or carrying an IOS device.
post #6 of 10

I have been in garages that already have "a find your car" kiosk. Just enter your license plate number.  Each stall has a camera focused on it. 

Cubist
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Cubist
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post #7 of 10

Speaking for the majority of the world that doesn't drive … I'm getting sick and tired of Apple's relentless focus on the automobile.  

 

Integrate Maps with Transit not the US Highway system.  

Give me Bluetooth technology that works with my bike.  

Write an app that tells me where the nearest tube station is, not the car that most folks don't have

 

Better yet, hire some people at Apple that aren't ancient, upper-class, uber-educated, rich, fucks who drive beamers, so that the people making the apps actually have some perspective on how normal people live.  

post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Integrate Maps with Transit not the US Highway system.  

 

Why does that deserve integration and NOT the highways?


Give me Bluetooth technology that works with my bike.  


Your bike has Bluetooth? Followup: Your bike has Bluetooth that isn't to the Bluetooth spec, so it doesn't work with Bluetooth devices?


Write an app that tells me where the nearest tube station is, not the car that most folks don't have

 

Why does that deserve integration and NOT cars?


Better yet, hire some people at Apple that aren't ancient, upper-class, uber-educated, rich, fucks who drive beamers, so that the people making the apps actually have some perspective on how normal people live.  

 

Now you're just projecting.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #9 of 10
"Apple wants to use iPhone Bluetooth to locate, interact with cars"
Who would not. Maybe this is for a new car key feature in passbook for the Icar rumors or just a car.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Give me Bluetooth technology that works with my bike.

Maybe you're looking for this?


http://www.abvio.com/2013/03/30/rflkt/

Works with this app:
http://www.abvio.com/cyclemeter/

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