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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Apple applies for iPhone-controlled car patent

AFP   August 03, 2013
First Published: 10:24 IST(3/8/2013) | Last Updated: 10:36 IST(5/8/2013)

A US patent application by Apple would give the tech company's devices control of car interior settings and maybe even the home.

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Imagine getting into any modern car -- even a rental -- and everything being just right. The wing mirrors are at the perfect position, the seat at the optimum distance from the pedals, the air conditioning is how you like it and the music playing on the stereo is made up entirely of your favorite tracks from your favorite artists.

Apple's "Automatic configuration of self-configurable environments" filing, originally applied for in 2012 and made public on Thursday, August 1, details how with nothing more than a device such as an iPhone, all of this -- and a lot more -- could become a reality.

A number of modern cars have a memory setting so that one, two or even a family of drivers can save their seat and mirror position settings, and while that's great, those preferences can't be carried over to other vehicles easily. OK, with the 2013 range of BMWs, a driver can export his or her settings to a USB thumb drive and then connect it to another BMW. But unless you only ever drive or rent 2013 BMWs it is of extremely limited use.

The features described in Apple's concept, first discovered by Appleinsider, could take this one stage further by being able to communicate with the car in question to take measurements within the cabin in order to calculate the optimum position of things such as wing mirrors -- after all each car is different in the sense that windshields, rear and side windows are different: shapes, sizes and heights and overtaking mirrors are sometimes mounted forward of the front doors, and sometimes are part of the doors.

Though focused on the car -- because of the number of motorized, electronic customizable elements already found in the cabin -- the filing also covers smart living environments and how a device could transfer home settings -- such as lights, air conditioning and preferred TV channels -- to a hotel room.


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