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."