Thousands of Volkswagen drivers have already been enjoying a new feature of their state of the art experience, Volkswagen Connect, the new key fob that allows them to find their keys and mobile phone, thus reducing the risk of two of the most bothersome everyday nuisances, not being able to find your car keys of mobile phone when you need them.

The beacon-based key fob solution is a top-notch example of close co-operation and teamwork between us, as hardware experts, and DDB as communication agency. DDB envisioned the project and we brought it to reality for Volkswagen Spain, the multinational automobile manufacturer.

As a hardware partner, Accent Systems has covered all the development phases of its beacon key fob: hardware design, firmware development, industrial design, prototyping and mass production.

The key fob uses beacon technology whereby small devices send out short distance signals to connect smartphones with objects. Moreover, the use of Bluetooth Low Energy guarantees not only low energy consumption but a great deal of precision in the tracking of the linked devices, especially regarding proximity.

How does it work?

The smart key fob has multiple functions: locating the keys through a mobile application, finding the smartphone through the key fob or using it as remote control to take ‘selfies’.

The key fob sends out data packages using Bluetooth Low Energy with the information being recognized exclusively by the mobile application Volkswagen Connect, which enables the key fob to locate the smartphone itself. Thus, if the driver loses his car keys or his mobile, and they have been misplaced within the range of coverage, a sound signal is activated facilitating their rapid recovery

When the user is not in the coverage range, the application shows the last location recorded by the GPS where the smartphone and the key fob became detached. Furthermore, the new key fob has an option that connects directly with the smartphone camera and the button of the key is transformed into a remote control, making it extremely for taking ‘selfies’.

Lastly, the firmware of the key fob includes an advertising Physical Web system that, in case of loss, automatically sends out notifications to any Google Chrome users in the vicinity to help in facilitating the recovery of lost key fob, even if they don’t have the Volkswagen Connect app. This is only a part of the new functionalities that the future of the Physical Web technology provides, allowing interactions with any intelligent device, without the need of any existing application, to improve the user experience.

Why Accent Systems

We are a Spanish hardware company that offers wireless electronic solutions. With a global service outlook (we have worked with companies in the USA, Germany, Turkey and Brazil, among others), we help organizations to create great innovative products for the Internet of Things, starting with the idea up to and including mass production, covering all the processes in-between, in our facilities here in Barcelona.

We are known principally for our expertise in beacon hardware, thanks to the beacon we created and developed, the iBKS BLE beacon. This has the reputation as being the most flexible beacon on the market. However, we understand this technology as more than a ‘spam machine’. The potential of beacon technology is only limited by the imagination of the developers and end users.

We have also more than 9 years of experience developing and manufacturing wireless devices, mostly with Bluetooth Low Energy, but also with other technologies such as: WiFi, GPRS, 3G, 4G and Sigfox, among others and with applications in different fields: products and systems for the automobile sector, electronic equipment for the medical sector, tracking systems and fleet control, and smartphone and tablets accessories.

If you are interested in develop an Internet of Things project, just contact us. We will be happy to hear from you.

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