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Physical access device status indicator - Key Fob Reminder Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016516D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jun-26
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 41K

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Creation of physical indications on locking devices, such as keys, as to the last operation that was performed with that physical device. An automated key fob that remembers, amongst other things, if the key has been used to lock a vehicle.

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Physical access device status indicator - Key Fob Reminder

Disclosed is a device and method to assist a user in knowing the status of their vehicle locking system. Using a physical key, or remote key fob to lock a vehicle is something many people have to do. Currently though, the only indication that the locking event has happened is the car lights flashing quickly. Nothing deals with the problem of walking away from the car, and the owner forgetting whether the car has indeed been locked. The only way to tell tends to be to return to the car. This principle also applies to household security. A further extension relates to household alarms, and the status of the arming of the alarm.

    The invention is to create a persistent state indicator in a physical key fob. Rather than a one way broadcast to a vehicle that is being armed or unarmed, such that by looking at the physical key the owner can determine the status of the vehicle at a later time and place, typically out of range of the car, or not in physical proximity. Advantages of this is that by simply checking the physical key that is in their possession a user can put their mind at rest as to whether the routine locking of the vehicle has in fact been done.

    Some examples exist of home automation, whereby it is possible to interrogate via web technology the house and its status, or other devices. The inventive step here is that it does not require a persistent network connection, i.e. a vehicle in an underground car park will not get a good phone signal, or outward network connection in order to be interrogated. Systems exist in order to be able to remotely interrogate a vehicle and issue commands, however these do not deal with knowing and easily telling that the owner had forgotten to lock the vehicle, which is the purpose of this mechanism.

    There are several potential embodiments of this mechanism: The simplest is a simple flag on the key fob that remembers the last action. This does not require a change to m...