If you want to speculate on what is on the horizon for tech companies, you can always look to recently registered patents, trademarks, and even websites. The latter two can often provide hints on what names and products are going to be released soon. Sometimes though multiple website names may be registered to give companies more options. Patents, on the other hand, often indicate products that are further from development, but the technology has definitely been created.
So what does this have to do with autos? This past week Apple filed some patent applications for automobiles. No, this doesn't mean that Apple is creating their own car or truck (which I'm sure would be super innovative but not too affordable). Instead, the patents focus on new iPhone features that can be used with your vehicle. According to Digital Trends, the patents may be for the new iPhone 5S. It will use Bluetooth technology to link your specific vehicle to your iPhone. Once this is complete, you could use your iPhone just like a current car fob, using your phone to unlock your car doors either via PIN or proximity detection.
This technology could also trace exactly where your vehicle is at any given time. This could help to easily locate your vehicle in a large parking lot, or even to track down your car or truck if it is stolen. Theoretically, the technology could also be used as parental control devices. Parents could set limits on when the vehicle can be accessed or track where their teenager’s car is located. It might even be used to set or track speed limits.
Unfortunately, there may still be some roadblocks before this technology can actually be implemented. Apple would have to partner with various vehicle manufacturers to create an integrated vehicle-phone connection.
What do you think? Does this Apple car technology seem useful to you?