coolfilmaker
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Find My Car Smarter App/Device

Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:15 am

This isn't specific in any way to the leaf by I just received a couple of these dongles today and it's an incredibly good system to help you find where you left your car.

Image

The company just launched on kickstarter a few months ago. So far it will only work if you have an iPhone 4S because it uses bluetooth 4.0 but if you do it's definitely worth the $25.

The dongle connects to your phone automatically when you turn your car on and then the apps records your location when it loses power. It also works just as well if you have multiple cars.

http://www.findmycarsmarter.com/Welcome.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Just thought I'd share.

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garygid
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Re: Find My Car Smarter App/Device

Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:42 am

Couldn't a similar app just use the "normal" bluetooth pairing with any vehicle that has bluetooth phone support?

Losing the pairing causes the phone to remember its OWN latest location (still near the car).

No real need for yet another BT transmitter, right?
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JohnOver
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Re: Find My Car Smarter App/Device

Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:38 am

garygid wrote:Couldn't a similar app just use the "normal" bluetooth pairing with any vehicle that has bluetooth phone support?

Losing the pairing causes the phone to remember its OWN latest location (still near the car).

No real need for yet another BT transmitter, right?
Great idea Gary!
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coolfilmaker
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Re: Find My Car Smarter App/Device

Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:11 pm

JohnOver wrote:
garygid wrote:Couldn't a similar app just use the "normal" bluetooth pairing with any vehicle that has bluetooth phone support?

Losing the pairing causes the phone to remember its OWN latest location (still near the car).

No real need for yet another BT transmitter, right?
Great idea Gary!

Lol, no. The reason this has just come out now is because bluetooth 4.0 has the ability to be very low power. Only an app that uses bluetooth 4.0 has the ability to run in the background all the time(on an iphone) to see when the car turns on and off. The other good thing about bluetooth 4.0 is that it always connects to the transmitter, you don't have to worry about the car having trouble pairing. Hopefully more devices will have BT 4.0 soon.

phxsmiley
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Re: Find My Car Smarter App/Device

Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:33 pm

I've been using the Android app 'Car Locator', which has a Bluetooth plug-in. When it loses connection with the car, it automatically stores the GPS location. Then I can pull up the app later, and it tells me where the car is located, (with a compass-type pointer), how far it is away, then also how long it's been at that location.

This seems to work, but only about 50% of the time with my phone, Droid Incredible II. It seems that I have some sort of BT compatibility with this and the leaf. It is paired, but doesn't always connect to the Leaf's BT. I have other issues with this phone and playing BT music, but that's a different story.
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DeaneG
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Re: Find My Car Smarter App/Device

Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:57 pm

Seems like this could be the one function that would make Carwings useful - showing the location of the parked car on a map.
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padamson1
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Leaf Number: 9240
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Find My Car Smarter App/Device

Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:06 pm

coolfilmaker wrote:
garygid wrote:Couldn't a similar app just use the "normal" bluetooth pairing with any vehicle that has bluetooth phone support?

Losing the pairing causes the phone to remember its OWN latest location (still near the car).

No real need for yet another BT transmitter, right?
Lol, no. The reason this has just come out now is because bluetooth 4.0 has the ability to be very low power. Only an app that uses bluetooth 4.0 has the ability to run in the background all the time(on an iphone) to see when the car turns on and off. The other good thing about bluetooth 4.0 is that it always connects to the transmitter, you don't have to worry about the car having trouble pairing. Hopefully more devices will have BT 4.0 soon.
Huh? I would only need BT 4.0 (and the extraneous little USB Dongle) if I wasn't using the normal LEAF BT connection. Gary's right, if I'm connected to the LEAF via its built-in BT all I would need is an App that is notified when the LEAF BT pairing goes down (which happens when the car is turned off) and then the App logs the current position using the location API. The low-power BT4.0 connection is great for saving power, but functionally it is no different than BT2.0 in terms of the Headset & Audio streaming profiles. The problem is the Operating System, not the version of BT: in the Android OS an App can register for the notification when any BT pairing is lost, in the Apple OS an App cannot register for such a notification without BT4.0.

coolfilmaker
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Re: Find My Car Smarter App/Device

Sun Jan 29, 2012 3:53 pm

padamson1 wrote: Huh? I would only need BT 4.0 (and the extraneous little USB Dongle) if I wasn't using the normal LEAF BT connection. Gary's right, if I'm connected to the LEAF via its built-in BT all I would need is an App that is notified when the LEAF BT pairing goes down (which happens when the car is turned off) and then the App logs the current position using the location API. The low-power BT4.0 connection is great for saving power, but functionally it is no different than BT2.0 in terms of the Headset & Audio streaming profiles. The problem is the Operating System, not the version of BT: in the Android OS an App can register for the notification when any BT pairing is lost, in the Apple OS an App cannot register for such a notification without BT4.0.
Yes it would be possible to use bluetooth 2 with a car's handsfree system. It's possible but it's not worth the sacrifices you make on the device side for a small benefit. It would be sort of like using a floppy disk to transfer word a word document. The point of bluetooth 4 is that with low power consumption you can have devices connect and transfer info that you wouldn't have before because it would have used too much energy and not been worth it. While carwings could perform the same function, the privacy implications are probably what prevented nissan from adding it as a feature.

padamson1
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Re: Find My Car Smarter App/Device

Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:12 pm

coolfilmaker wrote: Yes it would be possible to use bluetooth 2 with a car's handsfree system. It's possible but it's not worth the sacrifices you make on the device side for a small benefit. It would be sort of like using a floppy disk to transfer word a word document. The point of bluetooth 4 is that with low power consumption you can have devices connect and transfer info that you wouldn't have before because it would have used too much energy and not been worth it. While carwings could perform the same function, the privacy implications are probably what prevented nissan from adding it as a feature.
OK. We must be talking about two different things. Since I consider the handsfree the whole reason for having BT on my phone in the car, I don't consider having the Handsfree Profile active 'a small benefit'. In fact it's the sole reason I use BT on my phone: for safer driving if someone calls me.

Given that one is only going to be in the car for an hour, having a BT Handsfree connection is virtually free on just about every phone (remember BT power is nothing compared to a 3G or Wifi radio), so the 'sacrifices on the device' are negligible maintaining the handsfree profile (streaming is a different story, but it is still small compared to a 3G phone call). The BT radio power consumption peaks when the profile is active (talking on the phone and for the periodic battery & connection info that you see on the screen) and is the same for BT4 or BT2. The BT4 benefit is when there is no data being exchanged as part of the profile and only keep alive packets are being sent to keep the pairing active. Here BT4.0 maintains the pairing for almost free, however since BT2.0 uses very little power to retain the pairing, the difference between the two is only measurable when I stay paired with something for many hours (which is not the case for a LEAF pairing).

So if you're not using the BT Handsfree, well yeah BT4.0 would definitely have an advantage since the BT Profile is never actively transferring data and BT4's low-power benefit can be taken advantage of the entire time the pairing is up. However if you are using Handsfree, BT4 & BT2 power usage will be virtually the same over the hour or so you're paired and Gary's idea gives you the same functionality without the separate USB dongle.

I just tried the handsfree model with the Android simulator and it worked fine: My Car finder app is launched when the BT any pairing is lost, I check which one and if it's the one I care about I save the location. When my App is launched standalone I can show that last location on Google Maps (which means if I was energetic I could write code for some sort of active direction finder to find the car). As noted earlier on this thread, the tricky part is making sure location services actually has a good current location, I know this can be hit or miss depending on the phone. I'll contact a buddy who's got the Apple SDK to see if he can confirm that I'm correct about the pairing dropped notification not being available in normal BT2 iOS.

If it looks like it can be done on an Apple and my buddy wants to do it, I'll be sure he gives Gary a royalty ;-)

DurkaDurka
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Re: Find My Car Smarter App/Device

Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:17 pm

Anyone know of an iPhone equivalent app that would automatically log the location of the car based on dropped BT?

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