A new patent published from the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday. This patent, which was named No. 8,868,254 for Accessory Control with geo-fencing. This was designed to turn an iPhone into a car remote when paired up with a Car-Play accessory.

Apple CarPlay Patent Suggests Remote Start, Trunk Operation

Such devices were popularized by auto-part manufacturers as well as car companies. This tech concept is nothing new as the entire idea of controlling a car’s functions via a remote has been around for several decades. One of the first systems to incorporate such technology was designed to turn on integrated block engine heaters from indoors during cold winter months. More modern systems can do just about anything to keep a car cool by turning on the air conditioning or rolling down windows.

Apple to enhance car technology

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s take on the technology will involve iOS technology. It will use the iPhone’s geo-location capabilities and cellular-connected iPads. The remote control system will be able to utilize Apple’s iOS-based devices to monitor and invoke specific functions with intelligence.

A vehicle accessory connected to an iPhone like a CarPlay head unit could determine if a car is parked and send a signal. Such signal could come in the form of a vCard and/or digital format which contains geographic coordinates. Bluetooth LE is suggested as a suitable type of communications, however other types of communication can be used.

A closer look at Apple’s patented technology

After receiving the vCard, the user’s iPhone generates a virtual geofence surrounding the car. It also monitors its own position related to the car’s tagged spot. When estimating the current location to approximate geofenced car area, the iPhone is able to send the right control signals at a given time. One example of this would be when a user leaves their car, a signal is sent to lock the car doors and set the alarm.