New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

'Find My Car Smart' is the First Low Energy Bluetooth App for iPhone 4S

Earlier this year, Apple introduced a new version of Bluetooth in some of their products. This new version of Bluetooth is known as "Bluetooth Low Energy" or Bluetooth 4.0. The Mac mini and MacBook Air were the first to support the new standard with the iPhone 4S quickly following.

The Bluetooth Low Energy specification promises a low-power and low-latency implementation that opens the door to a number of new kinds of Bluetooth-powered devices. The expectation is that low power Bluetooth transmitters/receivers will be able to send data to and from your iPhone without complicated setup. Possible examples included a special watch that could receive notifications, proximity detectors, health monitors and more.

A company called FMC Smart has just launched a Kickstarter for the first Bluetooth Low Energy App and companion module for the iPhone 4S.

'Find My Car Smart' is a Bluetooth 4.0 take on tracking where you had parked your car. While a number of these applications already exist, those require the manual launching and marking of your car. Find My Car Smart works by pairing up against a Bluetooth 4.0 transmitter in your car and automatically tracks its last parked location.
Right now, there are apps on the iPhone that will save the location of my car, but I have to manually launch the app to drop a pin each and every time I have parked my car. Stopping to launch an app when I'm running into work or trying to catch a plane is a complete waste of time and totally annoying. So I developed an app that allows the iPhone 4S to remember the last place I parked and the only time I have to launch the app is after I've lost my car, not before.
The company posts a nice FAQ which details some of the common questions and how the product works.

You need to install a small USB-powered Bluetooth proximity adapter in your car, which pairs with your iPhone. This proximity adapter talks to your iPhone's Find My Car Smart App running in the background. When you leave your car, it remembers this last GPS location automatically. No manual intervention is required. They claim there is only a small decrease in battery life of your iPhone due to the background operations, especially if you are only parking your car a few times a day. More extensive drivers may see more of a battery drain.

Note that as a Kickstarter project, the Bluetooth dongles won't ship until they reach their funding goal, so we haven't been able to test the product nor are we endorsing it. The App Store companion app, however, has been approved by Apple and is already available in the App Store [$0.99]. We have downloaded that app which is shown above in screenshots.

We should expect to see more Low Energy Bluetooth accessories and applications in the future. For now, the iPhone 4S is the only iOS device that supports the new standard.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

91 months ago
App/appliance won't really help in a multi level garage situation though, will it?
Rating: 6 Votes
91 months ago
Looking forward to more products...

I take a picture of my car and its surroundings - with geotagging on. So, with a quick snap, I have an image and a waypoint.
Rating: 5 Votes
91 months ago
I'd prefer if Apple concentrated on the mammoth task of making it easier to turn Bluetooth on and off without a unnecessarily long process of taps and swipes.

Particularly given that this is often done driving a car when people realise that BT is switched off.
Rating: 4 Votes
91 months ago

umm... my car already has bluetooth... why couldnt i use this now?

It has to be the new Bluetooth 4.0.

What Bluetooth Smart Tags are supported?
At the moment we’ve only tested with a BlueGiga BLED112, however any Bluetooth Smart or Bluetooth Low Energy tag should be compatible. Please note that the tag needs to be programmed with a broadcast profile in order to be used. See the Supported Devices Forum for more information.

Rating: 3 Votes
91 months ago
Looks nice but in my 15 years of driving, I never found myself in a situation where I couldn't find/remember where I left my car...
Rating: 2 Votes
91 months ago
So the hardware does not exist yet but you can buy the .99 app?
And your car needs to have a USB port?

I think we are still a little early...
Rating: 2 Votes
91 months ago
It seems I'm compltetely missing the point of this app.:confused:

My phone is paired to the handsfree system in my car anyway.

As soon as I walk away from my car the connection is lost and a background app could drop a pin in google maps without me doing anything anyway. Then when I want to find my car I just open google maps and get directions back.

Since I have a charger for the phone in the car anyway the power savings of Bluetooth 4 are irrelevant. My iPhones Bluetooth is always on anyway.

I just don't see what this App does that can't be done in every car anyway. Car locators for Android did this for quite some time already.

In addition can the iPhone hold two bluetooth connections? Because you would need to hold the connection to the handsfree system and the "find my car smart" bluetooth dongle at the same time. :confused:
Rating: 2 Votes
91 months ago

A useful App I am sure.

But I wonder what the owners of the worlds 800 million cars did to 'find' their vehicles, before this App came along....?


Same goes for electricity and water.

Why should we do anything to move past cavemen! I am with you! What did people do before forums and message boards?
Rating: 2 Votes
91 months ago
In all my years of driving I have never misplaced my car either.

Now where this would be very helpful is in a shared car family. I park at night, my wife takes my car shopping while I am home. She parks somewhere, I need car in the morning and have to hunt for it, as she parked it last and I was not with her.

When it can actually track my car even if I am not in it when it is parked, I will be much more interested.
Rating: 2 Votes
91 months ago
I would love an app that could actually find my car, but this doesn't seem to be it. As far as I can tell it's just automating what I currently do: Recording its last known spot when I walk out of range.

That's more convenient, sure, but it's really no different than putting a pin on a map.

The times I really don't know where my car is are the times I didn't park it. Like, just recently my friend was with me downtown and we were stuck in traffic. I had an important meeting so I left him the car and took the subway. He parked it and I met him for dinner afterwards.

3 hours later he had a hard time remembering where he'd parked it. We eventually found it, but this is probably the ONE case I can think of in the past year where I'd like an app like this...and it wouldn't have been able to help me.

So...kind of cool, but not really all that exciting.
Rating: 2 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]