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The usefulness of a Bluetooth key fob in the world of telematics – an IoT story continues…

As you may have read in a previous post published a few months ago, Redtail recently launched a new product.  A product that Redtail quickly began to realise was strongly needed.  When conducting research based on customer needs and requests, we could find nothing like it on the market.

This product is Redtail’s Bluetooth key fob.

Redtail-Bluetooth-key-fob

This brilliant little device is small enough to hang on your keys (great if you’re prone to losing things like me!).  The device has a Bluetooth component that allows it to connect with other Bluetooth devices.  I actually have one on my keychain with my car keys.  I often forget it’s there… but then, I’ve got a pretty full keychain (trust me though, it’s necessary to prevent me from losing my keys!).

Imagine a universe of planets.  The universe is the possibilities of IoT.  Those planets the connected devices (e.g. Redtail’s telematics devices or your smartphone).  Those planets have lots of little moons floating around them.  Those moons?  You guessed it, they’re the Redtail Bluetooth key fobs!  The Bluetooth key fobs allow you to connect to your data without needing a separate device.  For example, you could connect it to the Redtail app on your phone using its Bluetooth connection.  They extend the possibilities of use and communication, entering ever further into the universe of IoT.

So, let’s talk about some ways Redtail has implemented these brilliant Bluetooth key fobs. Setting them to orbit their data recording counterparts.

There’s Redtail’s Driver Scoring app.  The key fob connects to your phone’s Bluetooth and uses the app to record journeys without needing a device.  The phone can be “activated” to track via Bluetooth – if a Bluetooth device (i.e. the key fob) comes within range of the phone, journey tracking can automatically be started. If the device goes out of range then it will automatically stop tracking.  This is far more accurate than relying on other methods such as geofencing or registering a change in GPS location.

Redtail-Driver-App-Bluetooth-key-fob-connecting

Redtail-Driver-App-journeys

Redtail-Driver-App-journey

Or, how about the key fob providing your “Driver ID” so your journey data can be recorded and associated correctly?!

Alternatively, there’s a Driver ID option.  When you turn on the ignition of your car, the telematics device in the vehicle turns on its Bluetooth and starts looking for the key fob.  Once found, the telematics device scans the key fob and confirms that it has the correct ID tag.  If it does then off you go, yay!  Oh and, in case you’re worried here, the “if it does” part just means it’s checking that you’re you, not that it doesn’t always work.

There are other use-cases that extend outside of telematics/vehicle communication. Which, I guess, moves even deeper into the realm of IoT.

You could argue, the only limit is your imagination.

Those considerations are perhaps for another time though.  There is still so much to explore in the context of telematics and driving scoring.  I think we’ll have some more fun here for a while… let’s just hope our engineering-minded designers and developers don’t develop too much of an imagination or we might really end up with planets and moons!  I’m excited to see how far we can get though.