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Thursday, October 28, 2021

New smartphone app to allow Qatar residents to remotely cool down cars

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar’s largest telecom firm has said some of its customers can now use their smart phones to activate their cars’ air conditioning, cooling off vehicles before motorists leave their home or office.

Ooredoo said in a statement that an application created by UK-based firm Q3Smart, which has a presence in Qatar, lets users adjust the climate controls of their vehicles regardless of their location.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The company added that it is marketing the technology as a way of allowing customers to return to a cool vehicle while conserving resources.

In Qatar, with its extreme summer temperatures, some motorists leave their engines on while they run short – or long – errands to keep their vehicle cabins cool.

Similar technology, developed by manufacturers such as BMW as well as other technology companies, has been on the market for more than a year. However, this appears to be the first time a company in Qatar has endorsed the service.

Ooredoo said working directly with a telecom operator offers protection against hacking, a concern raised by some security analysts when other versions of the technology first hit the market.

In 2011, a video was uploaded to YouTube showing an individual hacking into another firm’s system and starting a vehicle by entering a couple lines of code in a web browser – a flaw that its app developer, Viper SmartStart, said has since been fixed.

Who can use it

An Ooredoo spokesperson said the app, Q3Smart Smart Start, would work with any phone running an Android, iOS or Windows operating system and is currently compatible with 95 percent of modern Japanese, American and – soon – German vehicles.

Q3Smart Smart Start app
Q3Smart Smart Start app

While vehicles should preferably should have push-button starters, the technology can be implemented with key-start systems.

The app is free, and the cost of the first year’s subscription is included when you purchase the device. On its website, Q3Smart said its vehicle smartphone package retails for $512.

Individuals interested in the service are being directed to visit Q3Smart’s website, while businesses in Qatar can contact their Ooredoo Account Manager.

Meanwhile, the company said it is also currently working with firms in other sectors – including the automotive, hospitality and manufacturing industries – to expand its use of machine-to-machine technology, a broad term used to describe the increasing number of wired and wireless systems that are able to communicate with one another.

For example, Ooredoo recently opened a demonstration villa on the Pearl where all the household appliances – including security locks, air conditioners, lighting and entertainment systems – can be connected to a single user interface, such as an app.

Meanwhile, other businesses in Qatar are also introducing new ways for customers to use their mobile phones.

Late last year, the W Doha Hotel said it would start giving guests the option of using their smartphone as a room key.

Customers who sign up for the service receive a Bluetooth key ahead of their arrival, allowing them to bypass the check-in process and enter their room by holding their phone against the lock.

Thoughts?

11 COMMENTS

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Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

Cool! Bit pricey though.

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Jaded

Pricey? I wipe my dog’s behind with those sort of sums

Mike
Mike
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Good for you

Saleem
Saleem
6 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Well for my dog more than me. I am indifferent to the type of paper used, he’s the one who insists on nothing but the Benjies.

Mike
Mike
6 years ago
Reply to  Saleem

Must be a Shih Tzu. They’re all the same.

yesjay
yesjay
6 years ago

Technology is a double-edged sword. Don’t delve deeply into it thinking of it’s fancy outskirts.The basic fact remains, until a flaw is widely known and fixed appropriately you are at risk.

Anas
Anas
6 years ago

I think at the moment we need an up to heat up the car :p

Asinine Thinker
Asinine Thinker
6 years ago

Its just a gimmick!

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
6 years ago

DN, I hope you took a healthly fee and a few free samples for this full blown brand promotion of the Q3 SMART. About as useful and environmentally impacting as a jar to catch methane in a field of cows.

disqus_CpJJvzDxuG
disqus_CpJJvzDxuG
6 years ago

People leave their car on while running errands? 🙁

Sabre
Sabre
6 years ago

Hmmm it is minus 3 here right now.. i’d love some desert temperatures right now.

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