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New Mobile Opportunities with Key Fobs

Imagine this:  " A motorist still at the office can use a cell phone to remotely start his car or truck, adjust the temperature, confirm ...

by / June 13, 2010

Imagine this:  " A motorist still at the office can use a cell phone to remotely start his car or truck, adjust the temperature, confirm the vehicle is locked, detect an intruder, check the fuel level and make sure the tires are properly inflated.

Later, if the gas tank is running low, a couple of taps on the phone's screen locates a gas station and downloads directions, so the navigation system is programmed and ready when the driver reaches the car parked blocks away."

This is the vision articulated by Delphi Holdings LLP and described in this recent Detroit News article entitled: Key fob morphs into high-tech wonder. The idea: turn that device on your key chain that unlocks your car into a conduit between your smart phone and your car.

 While Bluetooth technology is popular today, consumers want even more integration in the future - allowing internet access and exchange of data to mobile apps.

While expensive cars have similar (or even more advanced) features available now, this new technology may be made available for less expensive cars at a much lower price. 

So what does all of this have to do with government technology? Check out this article on some of the latest advances in RFID asset tracking with key fobs . Here's an excerpt: "This active key fob RFID tag which is well suited for personnel tracking and access control application, vehicle identification, or for use in applications where keys need to be tracked, such as in prisons, hospitals and government offices."

It will certainly be interesting to see how this market develops. What is not in doubt is the power of mobile devices when they interface with smart phones and more. The Bill Gates prediction a few years back, in which everything in the home and work is connected to a network which communicates with our car and more, certainly seems to be coming true.

The question that government technology professionals need to ask is not whether we will be integrating our government apps with key fobs and smart phones, but how will we do it. We need to watching these trends and not building new stovepipe solutions that will be unique islands that won't work with commercial off-the-shelf devices.

So how many government apps will we eventually connect to your personal key fob? I'm not sure yet, but I suspect we'll find our sooner rather than later.

What are your thoughts on smart key fobs?    


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Dan Lohrmann Chief Security Officer & Chief Strategist at Security Mentor Inc.

Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.

During his distinguished career, he has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, receiving numerous national awards including: CSO of the Year, Public Official of the Year and Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader.
Lohrmann led Michigan government’s cybersecurity and technology infrastructure teams from May 2002 to August 2014, including enterprisewide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan.

He currently serves as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Chief Strategist for Security Mentor Inc. He is leading the development and implementation of Security Mentor’s industry-leading cyber training, consulting and workshops for end users, managers and executives in the public and private sectors. He has advised senior leaders at the White House, National Governors Association (NGA), National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), federal, state and local government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and nonprofit institutions.

He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry, beginning his career with the National Security Agency. He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US/UK military facility.

Lohrmann is the author of two books: Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD for You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. He has been a keynote speaker at global security and technology conferences from South Africa to Dubai and from Washington, D.C., to Moscow.

He holds a master's degree in computer science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a bachelor's degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.

Follow Lohrmann on Twitter at: @govcso

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