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3 May 2012

Smart Key Fobs

There’s a new kind of key fob starting to appear - the smart fob.

A smart fob can act as a ‘bridge’ between the car’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and your mobile phone, tablet or PC.

It's really a mini-computing device in its own right, with built-in data storage and wireless communications technology.

It's all in Micro Mart issue 1207. Here’s a couple of extracts from the article:

With Bluetooth or wi-fi technology, the smart fob can act as a 'bridge' between the car's sophisticated electronic control unit (ECU) and your mobile phone or computer. In practice this means feeding information from the car's many sensor logs, control modules, navigation devices and entertainment systems to smartphone and PC applications.

Take a 'find my car' app for example. When you lock the car the fob captures the current GPS coordinates and stores this data in its memory. When it's time to return to the car, take out your smartphone and start 'find my car' app. The app will connect to the smart fob, read the stored GPS data, then display the parked position on a map, using Google Maps or some similar geo-location software. Very handy when you're in an unfamiliar city.

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