updated 10:35 am EST, Fri December 16, 2011
Find My Car Smart project uses low-power Bluetooth
One of the first practical uses of the new low-power Bluetooth 4.0 spec on the iPhone 4S has emerged through a Kickstarter project. Find My Car Smart combines a mini USB Smart Device that broadcasts Bluetooth with an iOS app (99 cents, App Store) to help locate the car in a crowded city or large parking lot. Bluetooth 4.0's low draw lets it quietly update its location in the background without needing a strong or constant signal.
The approach lets users only have to open the app once before finding the car, to pair it. Unlike other car finders, the Bluetooth lets users skip having to reset the location every time they park, as long as the Smart Device is powered.
As a Kickstarter project, production schedules depend on getting enough backers, which for Find My Car Smart will take about $10,000 for its hopeful late January target. Promising at least $25 gets the device and a free copy of the normally paid-only app. Paying a slightly higher $30 also gives a USB car charger that can keep the Smart Device powered without needing a car or head-end unit with USB built-in.
Bluetooth 4.0 is most commonly used in exercise equipment, such as ANT+ heart rate sensors, as well as health care monitors.