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By Larry Edsall

Car2U Car2U offers fob-sized remote control for garage door, lights and more
Imagine being able to push a button on your key fob to open and close your garage door and even turn on lights or appliances in your house or office. Such a scenario is possible by adding a couple of aftermarket accessories to the Car2U "home automation system" that was introduced for the 2007 model year.

Devised by Lear Corporation, a major supplier of vehicle interior components, Car2U launched as a competitor to the Homelink system, from Johnson Controls, that has had this space in the automotive marketplace to itself with some 25 million vehicle installations

Lear's goal was to devise a system that would be easier to set up and easier to operate.

What caught our eyes was that Car2U offers a small, optional key fob-sized remote controller. It sold for $30, and you also need a $65 "gateway" module that connects the fob to the system in the car and car, but being able to manipulate a gate, garage door, security system or turn on or off lights and appliances from a key fob rather than having to sit in the vehicle and manipulate overhead buttons should be worth the cost for many customers.

In fact, we suggested to Jody Harwood, Lear project manager and Car2U co-inventor, that someone should invent a garage door opener that's small enough to fit on a keychain or even serve as a key fob.

In addition to the key fob, Car2U accessories include indoor and outdoor light and small appliance modules as well as house lighting dimmer switches.

Harwood noted that a home can be set up for "daytime scene or a night time scene" with those scenes activated from the vehicle through Car2U, which also can do such things as turn on exterior or interior lighting.

For more information, visit the website.

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