January 9, 2008
Delphi: Monitor Your Car with an iPhone!
Another one of those James bond type gadgets we all craved to get when we were young, a remote that could control every car component. I personally love the part when a gang of burgelers wanted to break into bond’s car and got a hand zapped with a bolt of current on the door lever. Well what if you get into your car and don’t want to be surprised by an unexpected visitor. It’s only a concept at this year’s CES, but it shows what an iPhone, smartphone, or Blackberry might do for your car. Delphi has been working on smart key fobs, one using the same inking technology as on the Sony Reader, that presents an image on the fob showing if the car is locked or unlocked, or which door is ajar, before you press the button. From there, Delphi engineers wondered how they could expand the functionality. The result was a Bluetooth link from the phone, to the key fob, to the car, with dozens of functions. The combination is powerful enough to locate you car and report its status a mile away in a parking garage, which really means, according to Delphi’s Craig Tieman, that no matter how deep you are inside your house, the remote will work. If it’s hot or cold outside, you can turn on the engine, turn on the climate control, and watch the temperature rise or fall. Or if you don’t want to burn gasoline, you can just roll down the windows. If you’re concerned someone might have broken into the car and be lying in wait in the back seat—a big fear for some, despite the low odds of it happening—you can see if the car has been broken into before you walk or, if you forgot to lock the car, see if it’s occupied.
Delphi showed how you can monitor tire pressure, see if you have enough gas in the tank for the drive to work, even tell the condition of your oil and brake fluid. Type A’s will love the remote. Right now, Wireless Vehicle Access—the key fob or the smart phone link—is a working concept. With a little work it could be a real product. makes me wonder if the guys at James bond’s lab got downsized now.