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Firstech Unveils DroneMobile Remote-Start App With GPS

6/15/2010 01:20:32 PM Eastern

Seattle - Joining
the roster of manufacturers offering remote-start apps, Firstech announced
DroneMobile, an iPhone app for vehicle GPS, security and remote start.

Firstech is the
maker of the CompuStar brand.

DroneMobile is
billed as a two-part system: a GPS and cellular module, and a free iPhone app.
The module, DR-1000, can be installed into any vehicle, according to Jason
Kaminski, sales and marketing director of Firstech.

"Our system can be
installed with any remote starter," he told TWICE. "It doesn't have to be a
CompuStar starter."

Once the system is
activated, the company said, the user is able to access all the features from
an iPhone.

In addition to the
remote-start features, DroneMobile allows consumers to use their iPhones for
such things as lock, unlock, panic, trunk release, sliding doors, heated seats,
vehicle security and GPS tracking.   

Two different
packages are offered. The DroneMobile DR-1000 system ($549 suggested retail
with basic installation) is for users without existing remote start. Those who
already have a compatible alarm and/or remote start -- or those wishing for a
stand-alone unit - can buy the DR-1000 module for $349 (including basic
installation). 

One year of basic
unlimited service is included with every unit ($29.99 value).  GPS tracking requires the purchase of the
premium plan, which costs $119 per year.

Regarding the
plans, Kaminski noted, "The hardware is the same. There's only one version. So
at any point in time, if you needed to locate your vehicle, you could just
upgrade the plan within the app and immediately start tracking."

The premium
version of the DroneMobile app allows users to track their vehicle's location,
as well as view such vehicle status information as battery voltage, temperature
and alarm status. These feature are in addition to the features offered in the
basic plan. 

DroneMobile will
be available in early July. A BlackBerry version is expected by the end of
August/early September, according to Kaminski, and the release from the company
indicated an Android version would be offered by the end of the year.

However, since
DroneMobile also has a web interface, consumers without an iPhone can operate
the app from the web.

"Say your phone
dies, you could take any connection and do everything from the web and do it
from the app," Kaminski said. "Because we only have an iPhone app, say you have
an Android or a BlackBerry, you could always purchase it now and download it,
and in the meantime you can control it from your web browser."