Find My Car – Announcing the release of v1.0

By Trevor Crotch-Harvey and Glenn Needham

11th August 2016

Searching for nearest beacon
Searching for nearest beacon

Touché is pleased to announce the release of version 1.0 of its “Find My Car” solution.

 

Have you ever struggled to locate your car when parked in a busy car park like a shopping centre, theme park, transport hub or airport?  If so, you’re not alone.  We’ve developed our smartphone based ‘Find My Car’ solution especially for this situation.  The development came after parking operators highlighted finding customers’ cars as one of their biggest logistical problems, taking up the time of security staff, and distracting them from their main tasks.  Other car finder solutions exist, but they use GPS, which may not be accurate enough, or camera systems, which are several times the cost of touché’s solution.  Click here to view our demonstration animation.

 

The new solution consists of three components:

  • An Android app, branded with the logo of the enterprise, which a user taps on arrival in a car park, to have his/her parking location remembered.
  • touché beacons, rated to IP65 to protect against dust and water ingress in outdoor installations, with a 1 year plus battery life, depending on the configuration and environment. The beacons require no external power supply or network connection.
  • touché connect, the back office system that knows where each beacon is located, recognises each user’s phone, alerts the enterprise to users’ arrival, and records transactions for future analysis and user contact.

 

How does it work?  Beacons are placed in several locations throughout the parking area.  When a customer parks their car, they will receive a welcome message, and the app will locate the nearest beacon, whose position is known by touché, and their visit will be recorded on the enterprise’s database, run by touché connect.   At the end of their visit, they tap the app to find their vehicle’s location – the app checks with touché connect and gives the user location corresponding to the Bluetooth Smart beacon nearest to their car which can help to locate the car to within a few metres.

 

Version 1.0 of Find My Car is the initial release.  Upcoming versions under development are planned to offer enhanced functionality, and will include iPhone as well as Android versions.  Customers can be shown targeted promotions based on their known shopping habits and current location.  Registering the car location could be the first opportunity to make an offer to the newly arrived customer.  Using the power of touché connect, we expect to differentiate between users at the same location, some of which will have a matching profile, while others don’t.  Only the matching user will receive a message, but it’s the task of the enterprise to stop short of sending spam.  The app has significant potential as a collector of marketing data, including consumer visits and purchasing habits, demographics and vehicle ownership.

 

Other upcoming versions are intended to alert a theme park or resort to the arrival of a VIP customer requiring a concierge service.  And we’re working with partners in the world of disability, using the app/beacon/touché connect combination to offer relevant and location based assistance to the disabled.

 

Find My Car is intended as an enterprise solution.  It could stand alone, or it could be integrated into an existing shopping centre or airport app – touché is ready to help with this.  It’s expected that enterprises will offer this solution as a free service to customers, drawing more users in and capturing data about their visits.  The payback for the enterprise is from the creative marketing use made of the data.

 

You can call us or contact us through the touché website if you want to discuss any of this further: www.touche-nfc.com, or use the Contact Form from this website.

 

touché offers a range of interactive mobile solutions, including: