Thursday, December 22, 2011

Can't find your car? Now, there's an app for that.




I'll admit it. I've had it happen to me. Going to a concert or a large event downtown, or if for some reason I decide to brave the mall on a weekend, I've sometimes lost track of where exactly I parked my car. Once, after a long night out, I was convinced my car had been stolen as I was wandering up and down the streets of south St. Louis city, frantically trying to find it. As I began to get more frustrated, I eventually called my friends who had already left, and asked them to come back and get me so I could get a ride.

Was my car stolen? Nope! I had parked it one street further down and simply failed to check that street, resulting in me looking like a crazy person in front of my friends. For those who've found themselves in a similar situation, a crafty entrepreneur in San Francisco has been developing an app that will find your car for you.

Simply titled, "Find My Car Smart", the app can do 3 things:
  1. Use GPS to find out where exactly you have parked your car.
  2. Measure how far away in feet (or miles) you are from your car.
  3. Determine how long you have been parking at your destination (really useful for parking meters!)
     


The product works by syncing your iPhone with a Bluetooth Smart device that is kept in your car. When you turn the engine off, the Bluetooth device turns off, and the application is able to detect this and immediately begin tracking your location via GPS. While there are similar apps on the market that accomplish this task, Find My Car Smart is the first that automatically geotags your car's location when you park, saving time for the eager errand runner on the go.

Currently, this new Bluetooth technology (which is being referred to as Bluetooth low energy since it is supposed to be more efficient) is only available on the iPhone. The Find My Car Smart app will be available around the end of January for a $25 donation, and comes with the app and the smart device.

Do you often forget where you left your car in a crowded parking garage or public area? Would this be an app that you'd consider for your vehicle, or maybe as a gift for someone else?

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