The latest patent secured by Apple suggests that it is looking to convert the iPhone into a car remote when it is paired with a CarPlay like head unit.
The patent details how Apple intends on using the geo-fencing capabilities of the iPhone to convert it into a remote for your car with smart lock/unlock and key fob features. For example, once the CarPlay like head unit detects you are close to the car, it can automatically unlock the doors, activate an alarm or even start the engine for you. As a safety measure though, the last part i.e. starting the engine is only possible once it detects that the user is sitting on the driver’s seat.
The description from Apple mentions the use of Bluetooth LE and the company’s own iBeacon as the tech as the probable technologies behind finding the proximity of the user from their vehicle.
Apple seems to have gotten pretty ambitious with the description in the patent and includes granular control over the geofence area like the rear door or the trunk, which automatically opens up when the user is near it.
Another ambitious tidbit from the patent description is the head unit detecting the user’s location using a mobile network and automatically heating the car when it detects that the user is heading towards it.
It goes without saying that it is very much possible that this patent might not see the light of the day like most of the other patents, but it is still exciting to see Apple visualising something like this for the future using CarPlay, iPhone and Geofencing.[Via Apple Insider]