Automatic Connected Car System Update Adds iBeacon Functionality

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    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
  2. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Jan 8, 2005
    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?
  3. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
  4. Christian 5G macrumors 6502a

    Christian 5G

    Jun 16, 2010
    Orange County, CA
    Automatic is pretty amazing, using it, just sometimes doesn't connect automatically .. But it's rare
  5. T5BRICK macrumors 604


    Aug 3, 2006
    I've been thinking about buying one of these. I should have pre-ordered one when they were $70.
  6. joeshmo2010 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    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!!
  7. blackboxxx macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2008
  8. macduke macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    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.
  9. ikir macrumors 6502a

    Sep 26, 2007
    I really hope it will be available in europe too
  10. ThunderSkunk macrumors 68020


    Dec 31, 2007
    Colorado & Ontario
    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.
  11. osofast240sx macrumors 68030


    Mar 25, 2011
  12. jlc1978 macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2009
    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.
  13. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    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.
  14. ipmasta, Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014

    ipmasta macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Price of Automatic

    $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.
  15. Sardonick007 macrumors regular


    May 18, 2011
    Been absolutely useless to me since I got it with the ONLY exception of reading diagnostic codes. Otherwise it's a novelty .
  16. ipmasta macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2011

    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.
  17. mainstreetmark macrumors 68020


    May 7, 2003
    Saint Augustine, FL
    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.
  18. 2457282 Suspended

    Dec 6, 2012
    Just take some soma and settle down :p:D:)
  19. Menel, Jan 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014

    Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    iBeacon changed nothing regarding that, same as before.


    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.
  20. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    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!'...


    Just what I need.

    A car with a fast food addiction...:mad:

    Hopefully I'm mistaken on the 'future of this wonderful device'...
  21. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    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.
  22. OldSchoolMacGuy macrumors 68020


    Jul 10, 2008
    iBeacon isn't that attractive. Already do all the Automatic does and more with a $12 Bluetooth OBD-II.
  23. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    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.
  24. T5BRICK macrumors 604


    Aug 3, 2006
    I dunno. I've spent more on a dinner and movie date...

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