Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 14, 2012.

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Can't remember where you parked your car? Don't worry! Your iPhone 4S will, AUTOMATICALLY!

Why I created Find My Car Smarter

After a long day at work or hanging out with my friends or even after going to the shopping mall, there's always a time where I completely forget where I parked my car. 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.

                                                                                            —FMC Smart

Using Find My Car Smarter

The app will indicate where you have parked your car, how far away you are and how long you have parked at that location. 

How do I set up Find My Car Smarter?

This application requires an iPhone 4S and the Find My Car Bluetooth Smarter Device or compatible Bluetooth Smart Device. 

ONE TIME SETUP:

1. Download the "Find My Car Smarter" App. Don't forget to allow the app to "use your current location".

2. Plug your Find My Car Smarter Device or compatible Bluetooth Smart Device into your car and then pair it to your iPhone 4S. You only need to do this step one time and it takes about 1 minute. 

How do I use Find My Car Smarter?

1. Rest easy knowing that you have the Find My Car Smarter App on your phone. 

2. Forget where you parked your car.

3. Click on the "Find My Car" App on your iPhone 4S and allow the map to guide you back to your car.

4. Find your car.

Why is an iPhone 4S required?

The iPhone 4S is the first smartphone to support Bluetooth Smart.

How does Find My Car Smarter Work?

When you start your car, the Find My Car Smarter App wirelessly connects to the Find My Car Smarter Device. After you have parked your car your engine and the Find My Car Smarter Device, powered by your cigarette lighter, turn off. The App realizes that your car is parked and then activates the GPS on your iPhone momentarily to save your car's location. If you lose your car, simply launch the app and it will help you navigate your way back by showing you your current location and the location of where you last parked your car. 

Funding

What will the funding be used for?

Acquiring and programming a large order of Bluetooth Smart Devices so that I can offer them at an affordable price. 

What you get for a pledge of $25

You will receive the Find My Car Smarter Device. If you were to buy this directly from a distributor this would cost $40 with shipping and come without the required programming. You will also be gifted a copy of the Find My Car Smarter App.

What you get for a pledge of $30

Additionally you will also receive a USB Car Charger for use with your Find My Car Smarter Device.

Find My Car Smarter App

The app has been accepted into the App Store and is the first Bluetooth Smart application for any phone. It can be seen here http://itun.es/iL29wm. With your pledge, you will be gifted a copy of Find My Car Smarter.

Planned delivery schedule

As soon as it's clear that we will hit our funding goal we'll place the bulk order. We expect to be able to ship out to the first 500 units by the end of January.

For more information

Please visit our website at http://findmycarsmarter.com

Call to action

Help us spread the word! We'd love to get some demo units out to news organizations and blogs. If you could help us by tipping your favorite blogs or tweeting about this project we'd be greatly indebted.

FAQ

  • The Find My Car Smarter device can only connect to one single iPhone at a time. If two iPhone are present when you start your engine and both are paired to a single device, then only one of the iPhones will get the updated location when you park. The iPhone that saves the location of where you have parked your car will depend on which iPhone connects to the device first. In most cases this will be random.

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  • Yes

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  • An iPhone 4S is required. It is currently the only iOS device that supports Bluetooth Smart.

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  • Bluetooth Smart is the marketing name for Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy. iOS is architected in such a way that third party developers must use Bluetooth Smart in order to incorporate new features into iOS. The Bluetooth Classic that is used by your car's hands free kit does not support the features that are needed for this app to work.

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  • The power comes from the your car's cigarette port and a USB car charger is needed.

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  • It doesn't need power when you're parked. The Find My Car Smart device gets powered on when you start your car, the app will wirelessly connect to the Find My Car Smart device. When you park your car and turn off the engine the Find My Car Smart device will get powered off. The app will see that the wireless link has been broken and save the car's current position.

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  • Yes. The app supports being paired with multiple devices for multi-car households.

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  • Unlike your keychain car remotes/fobs, the Find My Car Smarter system saves the location of your car after you turn off your ignition or after you walk about 10 feet away from your car (for those car models that do not power off the cigarette lighter with the ignition). If you lose your car, launching the app will display where you last parked your car and your current position to help you get back to your car.

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  • The GPS is only turned on when you've parked your car and only for the duration required to get your GPS location.

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  • Yes. Your iPhone supports connections to multiple Bluetooth devices simultaneously.

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  • No, when you are stationary within a 1 km (0.62 miles) area, such as at home or at work, the app is asleep and the only resource that is used is iOS periodically waking up and scanning for Bluetooth devices. This situation is similar to when your phone is paired to a Bluetooth headset.

    However, the app will wake up momentarily every time your iPhone travels a few miles. This is to ensure that the app will get relaunched and is running in the background in case the phone closes the Find My Car Smarter App.

    Some power consumption occurs after you park your car and the GPS is enabled to save the location of your car. Under good conditions, Find My Car Smarter can complete this process in about 5 seconds and then go back to sleep. The power usage is equivalent to opening the Maps App and finding your current location.

    Generally, running this app in the background will not significantly decrease your battery life. However, drivers who drive long distances and park their cars frequently (e.g. pizza delivery person) may experience a noticeable decrease in their battery life.

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  • A GPS fix can not be reliably achieved under these conditions. You can try this for yourself by opening up Google Maps in one of these multilevel parking structures, you'll likely find that the accuracy is as wide as the entire parking structure. The app will still attempt to get a location fix for 3 minutes and save the most accurate result. A shaded circle indicates the accuracy of the saved location. For best results park in an above ground uncovered location.

    Please take a look at http://fmcsmart.forumotion.com/t4-why-doesn-t-gps-work-in-multi-level-parking-lots for an attempt to describe the challenges in getting a location fix in a multilevel parking garage.

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  • The app will automatically relaunch itself after you've driven a few miles. The intention is to have a set it and forget it system.

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  • As long as you can supply power to the Find My Car Smart device you can use it with many different types of objects.

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  • In this scenario you won't get the optimal usage. Instead of saving where you parked, it will save the location where the Bluetooth link was broken as you walk away from your car. This maybe up to 15 feet away.

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