Goodbye, keys: The Ernest app lets you easily access your car, gate, and garage

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The only butler in the average person’s life is probably Geoffrey from reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air but you can have one on your phone, too. A Kickstarter launched on Friday is funding a so-called “mobile butler” named Ernest, a unified app for car security and home control.

The idea for Ernest came from tech entrepreneur Arturs Pumpurs, who wanted users to be able to use a single app to access their car, garage, and gate in a secure and convenient way. He and his team came up the app, which communicates via devices you can install in homes, vehicles, and gates. The three-tier security system ensures only authorized users’ smartphones will be granted access.

The Ernest Bluetooth Immobilizer works to protect cars. Once users install the device and activate the system, the Immobilizer can be used to prevent the vehicle from being driven by anyone who does not have permission. Only the device’s owner and any authorized family or friends will be able to turn on the engine. Additionally, the app will offer reminders when the car is due for maintenance or an insurance policy should be renewed.

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Ernest has a GPS device to keep tabs on vehicles as well, sold both with and without Immobilizer. You can find the last and current location of your vehicle through the app. As you can imagine, it is helpful when you cannot remember where you parked. The Guide Me to Car function will make sure you get there.

Garage and gate access are similar to Immobilizer and GPS in that the Gates device also uses Bluetooth to communicate with your smartphone. Once set up, the gate or garage in question will open when an authorized user’s smartphone comes within a range of 50 meters. That means you will be able to carry around fewer keys and controls and it will be easier if you have to let someone in when you are not home.

The Ernest Kickstarter campaign is going on now. Backers can contribute anywhere from $5 to $9,000 and beyond for a day at the track with the Ernest team. Shipping for products is slated to start in December.

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