Feeds

NFC will help you find your car - if you're next to it

Ooh! Is there nothing it can't do? (Yes.)

High performance access to file storage

The search for a problem that only Near Field Communications can solve now sees an NFC-equipped key fob which can interact with a mobile phone to report a car's mileage, fuel level, tyre pressure and location... or what it was last time the fob looked.

The technology comes from car-component specialist Delphi, which reckons a NFC Gateway Key Fob (specs here in pdf) could enable a "permanent and constant link between drivers and their vehicles". Which would be fine, except for the 10cm range of an NFC signal, so the link is only constant when the driver is very close to their vehicle.

But that's not stopped company rep Craig Tieman telling RFID Journal: "No matter where you are, you can interact with your phone application and download information to the car... You can make changes to the car's interior temperature settings, or configure a new playlist from inside a restaurant, for example." This is true, though the changes won't actually affect the car until you get back into it.

You'll need NFC in your phone, of course, and your car too, so you could simply synchronise the phone directly with the car - but where's the margin in that? Delphi says its fob can be combined with the usual unlocking RFID technology, so you will be able to unlock your car using the fob if not the NFC component of it.

We're not sure if this is more insane than the NFC card that you have to hold beside your phone to use the phone's NFC functionality - as recommended by the UK's Home Office - but it's certainly a contender for the most insane application of wireless.

Even RFID Journal felt obliged to point out that services such as OnStar already offer a GSM-connected car that can provide real-time information, but that does need a subscription. Not that such a sub will be avoidable if the EU gets its way and we are all required to have mobile phones in all our cars.

But even if we don't, it's hard to imagine that a cache store on a keyfob is going to be the killer application for NFC, any more than the NFC-equipped gravestone or the battery-powered sticker. So we'll keep watching for that breakthrough technology which makes us wonder how we ever survived without Near Field Communications. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.