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Old Jan 28, 2014, 06:23 PM   #1
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Automatic Connected Car System Update Adds iBeacon Functionality




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.
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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.

Automatic can be purchased from the Automatic website for $99.95. The accompanying Automatic app is a free download from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Automatic Connected Car System Update Adds iBeacon Functionality
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 06:26 PM   #2
Sky Blue
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Been thinking about picking one of these up, they're a bit pricey.

Doesn't seem like the iBeacon feature does much at the moment?
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 06:44 PM   #3
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Been thinking about picking one of these up, they're a bit pricey.

Doesn't seem like the iBeacon feature does much at the moment?
No, I don't think the iBeacon does much at all if anything, but the Automatic itself is pretty handy. We did a hands-on here:

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/09/...istant-system/
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 07:04 PM   #4
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Automatic is pretty amazing, using it, just sometimes doesn't connect automatically .. But it's rare
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 07:06 PM   #5
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I've been thinking about buying one of these. I should have pre-ordered one when they were $70.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 07:12 PM   #6
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My partner got me one of these for Christmas. I love it! The best part is that the company is constantly updating this over the air using the IOS app, and it doesn't use very much data at all. That really enhances increased functionality. I recommend those on the fence to definitely get one!!
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 07:56 PM   #7
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This device would be much more appealing if it didn't upload all your vehicle details and location to the cloud (see their privacy policy, https://www.automatic.com/legal/#privacy) where NSA captures it and ingests into its massive databases (see recent Snowden revelations, http://www.macrumors.com/2014/01/27/...y-iphone-apps/).

Now with iBeacon they get even more opportunities to track your car.

Thanks, but no thanks.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 08:19 PM   #8
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I don't really think iBeacons is very useful here. Wouldn't the same thing work with your phone that you already have on you?

Now if it could be used to locate your car in a parking garage where GPS isn't available, then that would be cool. But with all the NSA data collection I think I'd only use this thing to run diagnostics on my car for short periods of time and check warning lights, etc.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 02:30 AM   #9
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$100??
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 02:48 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by joeshmo2010 View Post
My partner got me one of these for Christmas. I love it! The best part is that the company is constantly updating this over the air using the IOS app, and it doesn't use very much data at all. That really enhances increased functionality. I recommend those on the fence to definitely get one!!
I really hope it will be available in europe too
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 04:21 AM   #11
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The more and more prevalent and all-encompassing electronics get, the more and more I'm appreciating aspects of my life that they're completely absent from.

Riding my racing bicycles w/o computers
Driving this old 55 Jaguar, a simple analog/mechanical machine, tunable by ear
Paddling my '37 Old Town canoe, no place for electronics whatsoever
Snowshoeing, Skiing, Swimming
etc etc etc

Feels good and free to leave the phone/camera/leash behind and just immerse yourself in the pleasure of the senses doing the thing.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 04:40 AM   #12
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No, I don't think the iBeacon does much at all if anything, but the Automatic itself is pretty handy. We did a hands-on here:

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/09/...istant-system/
Ibeacon is the gateway to big data which means 0 limits.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 07:03 AM   #13
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Driving this old 55 Jaguar, a simple analog/mechanical machine, tunable by ear
Jags are known for many things, but driving isn't one of them. You know why the British drink warm beer? Lucas make their refrigerators.

Seriously, I'm with you. There is a pleasure to simple mechanical things that you can actually work on with wrenches and never need a computer.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 07:39 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by osofast240sx View Post
Ibeacon is the gateway to big data which means 0 limits.
Yes, the iBeacon concept is very creepy to me. I understand its conveniences, and that are phones already act as personal homing devices, but iBeacon just seems one step too far into the Brave New World.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 07:39 AM   #15
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Cool Price of Automatic

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Originally Posted by taxiapple View Post
$100??
$100 does seem like a bit - however I have one (I paid $70 because I funded it on kickstarted). It will read your check engine light and tell you what it means (The handheld computers that do this can easily cost $100 alone) and when you look at the other features like it uses the gps in your phone to tell you where your parked your car (If your like me and forgetful about those things) as well as alert you when you are heavy on the gas/break/and speeding. Which ultimately can save you money on gas. I like that it keeps a log of my trips and estimates my fuel economy and rates my driving. However I had to disable the sound for speeding since I often go 60 in a 55 which gets to be annoying after a while. Also since I am self employed its comes in handy if I forget to run my normal mileage log app and then can reference back to the automatic app to figure up mileage for tax purposes. To me its well worth it and I plan on buy one for my other vehicle as well.

Last edited by ipmasta; Jan 29, 2014 at 07:40 AM. Reason: Forgot to add something
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 07:47 AM   #16
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Been absolutely useless to me since I got it with the ONLY exception of reading diagnostic codes. Otherwise it's a novelty .
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 07:48 AM   #17
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Exclamation Privacy

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Originally Posted by blackboxxx View Post
This device would be much more appealing if it didn't upload all your vehicle details and location to the cloud (see their privacy policy, https://www.automatic.com/legal/#privacy) where NSA captures it and ingests into its massive databases (see recent Snowden revelations, http://www.macrumors.com/2014/01/27/...y-iphone-apps/).

Now with iBeacon they get even more opportunities to track your car.

Thanks, but no thanks.
When it comes down to it you should not use a cellphone if you don't want your info tracked by the government. It sucks but any electronic device you use that has a connection to the internet is likely being monitored.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 07:55 AM   #18
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Automatic has been a waste of money, and I managed to buy it when it was $50. It beeps at me every time i get on the highway, since 70mph is evidently "speeding".

That's all it seems to do - beep at you when you go 70mph.

I can't seem to dump the data. It doesn't offer me any other useful information that I don't already know, such as time spent at stoplights or something. You can't even monitor your current trip.

Now it has iBeacon? Super. My gas stations cannot even figure out how to put in a pump where the keypad works all the time, or have a daylight readable display. I doubt they'll put in iBeacon. In fact, I'd be completely satisfied if they did away with magnetic strip readers and pushed for chip&pin cards.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 08:25 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Chupa Chupa View Post
Yes, the iBeacon concept is very creepy to me. I understand its conveniences, and that are phones already act as personal homing devices, but iBeacon just seems one step too far into the Brave New World.
Just take some soma and settle down
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 08:29 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by blackboxxx View Post
This device would be much more appealing if it didn't upload all your vehicle details and location to the cloud (see their privacy policy, https://www.automatic.com/legal/#privacy) where NSA captures it and ingests into its massive databases (see recent Snowden revelations, http://www.macrumors.com/2014/01/27/...y-iphone-apps/).

Now with iBeacon they get even more opportunities to track your car.

Thanks, but no thanks.
iBeacon changed nothing regarding that, same as before.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclo View Post
No, I don't think the iBeacon does much at all if anything, but the Automatic itself is pretty handy. We did a hands-on here:

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/08/09/...istant-system/
They previously used a geo-fence hack in order to automatically reestablish link to phone app.

Now, instead of geo-fence hack, they use iBeacon to trigger link to phone app.

Edit: I reread news summary, its entirely misleading.

Last edited by Menel; Jan 29, 2014 at 08:42 AM.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 08:32 AM   #21
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Gads! I can see it now: Driving down the road. It's about 11:30. The area is loaded with fast food dumps. Your car endlessly prompts you to 'Pull in for a quick bite to eat at ______', 'Aren't you hungry for _____', 'Hey, Hungry? Stop in and try the _____ at _____. Just turn right, right now!'...

Yeah...

Just what I need.

A car with a fast food addiction...

Hopefully I'm mistaken on the 'future of this wonderful device'...
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 08:40 AM   #22
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Gads! I can see it now: Driving down the road. It's about 11:30. The area is loaded with fast food dumps. Your car endlessly prompts you to 'Pull in for a quick bite to eat at ______', 'Aren't you hungry for _____', 'Hey, Hungry? Stop in and try the _____ at _____. Just turn right, right now!'...

Yeah...

Just what I need.

A car with a fast food addiction...

Hopefully I'm mistaken on the 'future of this wonderful device'...
I think you are incredibly confused and uninformed... Try reading their website. It has nothing to do with Fastfood.

It does
1. Engine code deciphering
2. Marks last place you parked car
3. Monitors and logs mpg
4. Has alerts to encourage economical driving, which can be turned off.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 08:44 AM   #23
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iBeacon isn't that attractive. Already do all the Automatic does and more with a $12 Bluetooth OBD-II.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 08:57 AM   #24
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It will read your check engine light and tell you what it means (The handheld computers that do this can easily cost $100 alone)
They can also cost under $20 for the same functionality. If that's all you want, this would be overpriced.

And if you want the mileage and speed checking, your insurance company will give you such a device for nothing, possibly reduce your insurance cost, even.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 09:57 AM   #25
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$100??
I dunno. I've spent more on a dinner and movie date...
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