The Automatic connected car system today received an over-the-air update that allows users to turn their Automatic Link hardware devices into iBeacons, reports TechCrunch. As iBeacons, Automatic devices let users transmit to or receive information from other sensors or devices in the vicinity.
First introduced in March of 2013, the Automatic hardware plugs into a car's onboard diagnostics (OBD) port and provides detailed data on driving habits and mileage within the Automatic app.
With the addition of iBeacon technology, Automatic could be a far more functional device in the future. While the iBeacon addition has no use at the present time, Automatic co-founder Thejo Kote says that it could be used to enable car-specific applications with a host of potential partners.
Applying iBeacon technology to a vehicle could make it easier for people to pay for things like parking, or gas fill ups, for instance — making the experience much better than it is today.
For right now, those types of applications are still theoretical, but Automatic is interested in seeing where it could go.
iBeacons, which have been growing in popularity over the last several months, use Bluetooth 4.0 to transmit data to nearby devices. This technology has been used within Apple Retail Stores to provide additional information on products, among other things.
In addition to iBeacon support for the Automatic hardware, the Automatic app was also updated today, adding event recording for external APIs and a number of bug fixes and improvements to the software.