Thursday, February 04, 2010

Your Car is Not a Television

Less so these days, but something that I still see is people locking/arming their car by pointing the keypad at the car, and of course the car (usually) dutifully responds, just like pointing the remote at the TV. But the thing is your car is not a television. TVs have infrared sensors that detect the signals from the remote. Your car has no such sensors and imagine how crazy it would make you if it did. Just think of the drama in your living room when something blocks that IR sensor, now out in the wilds of the average parking lot. Thanks I'll pass.

Car arming systems use a different technology that is not based on direction. You do no need to point it at the car. I remember in the 80s how much a friend enjoyed setting his car alarm by just reaching in his pocket. Except for the funny walk, there was no relationship to the car beeping and what he was doing. With work, he would have gotten subtly points.

Try it sometime. have the fob in your hand, but don't point it at the car when you press the lock button. It should work the same. The cool thing about this is that if you're in your house and you can't remember if you locked the car (I don't use the auto lock), then you can press the button from inside your house and if the car is within range it should respond. You don't need to open the door and do elaborate aiming gymnastics. I know Hollywood has gotten a lot of mileage out of this misconception (someone aims their remote at their new car and life), but it's been bogus for a long time.

1 comment:

Elf said...

That's funny, isn't it! I have on many occasions used the doohickey to lock the car from inside the house where I can't see the car, while walking away talking to someone and it's in my pocket, etc. And yet when I approach the car to unlock it, I hold it up. That might be because I'm looking at it first to get the right button.

I have on occasion pointed it to where I think the car is from higher up to see whether the signal will go over things that it won't go through. Sometimes it does (usually other vehicles, for whatever reason).