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Intel’s new smartphone app lets you know if your car is being tampered with

Wouldn't it be nice if there was an app which allows your car to send alerts directly to your smartphone as soon as some up-to-no-good carjackers attempt to get a little too close to your precious automobile for comfort while you are busy working in an office cubicle some 100 meters away? Well, the good news is that something like that might soon exist, for word has it that Intel is currently in the midst of developing such an app that helps users know if their car is in trouble or not.

Carjacking and automobile theft may not be the kind of crimes most users have to deal with on a daily basis, but there will always be users who feel that more automobile security can only be a good thing, especially if one takes into account how vital a role the car plays in serving a person's transportation needs today. And leave it to Intel to deliver the added security any anxious car owner craves with its new work-in-progress app which is reportedly capable of sending alerts directly to a user's smartphone upon any detection of attempted tampering made by unauthorized personnel.

As Intel's new app is still currently a work-in-progress, not much detail about the app is available. However, what we do know is that Intel plans to pull off such a solution by "connecting the electronics inside a car to the Internet, so that mobile apps can provide a car owner with updates on his vehicle when the two are apart". To achieve this, Intel has reportedly installed a custom circuit board that has been outfitted with its Atom processors into a car, which then "interfaces with the car's electronics, and connects the car to a cloud server over a mobile network".

That just leaves Intel with the issue on how to get the information gathered by the car's electronics into a user's mobile phone. According to a report published by Technology Review, the chip giant has built special apps for phones powered by both the Android and iOS operating systems in order to give them access to the car's log data, as well as send commands remotely over to their vehicle. The report goes on to claim that the apps can be used to carry out a variety of both simple and complex tasks, such as remotely opening the car doors and starting the engine, or even sending security alerts and streaming live feeds should the car's proximity and motion sensors detect any irregularity.

Sounds great? Well, it would appear that Intel's novel solution comes with one major drawback; this continuous flow of data to and from the car and a user's smartphone is carried out almost exclusively through WiFi connectivity, and not 3G. This has raised some concerns that a technologically-savvy carjacker might be able to circumvent such a security feature by either relocating the car quickly enough to a WiFi dead zone, or simply coming equipped with tools to jam the WiFi signals, thus preventing any data from being sent to a user's smartphone.

Then again, we have pointed out earlier that Intel's new solution is still currently under development, and the finalized version (should there ever be one) will probably boast the addition of various built-in security mechanisms that may be specially designed to prevent the disruption of such wireless signals from all but the most determined carjacker. Well, we shall see.

Source: Technology Review

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