Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Car Locator Compass

Locate your car in a crowded parking lot or on-street parking
  [vote for,

The car locator compass is a convenient, simple-to-use, durable, and cost-effective device that solves the all too common problem of not being able to find your car in a parking lot or on street. The user of the car locator compass can avoid activating a car alarm or other obtrusive devices in a crowded area.

The car locator compass contains two major components: 1) the portable transmitter-receiver unit (the “portable transmitter-receiver unit”) that can be easily attached to a key chain and 2) a small transmitter-receiver unit (the “vehicle transmitter-receiver unit”) which can be stored conveniently within a vehicle (e.g. inside the glove compartment).

The portable transmitter-receiver will have a display (e.g. a small LCD screen or a lit-display) with directional arrows as well as an “up” and “down” indicator. When the portable transmitter-receiver is activated, it will transmit a command signal (the “command signal”) to the vehicle transmitter-receiver. Once the vehicle transmitter-receiver receives the command signal, it will measure its current direction as well as its horizontal and vertical distance from the portable transmitter-receiver and will relate this information back to the portable transmitter-receiver via a respond signal (the “respond signal”). The command signal and the respond signal can be synchronous or asynchronous. Once the respond signal is received, the display on the portable transmitter-receiver will activate the appropriate directional arrow to give an indication of the direction where the vehicle is located. The directional arrow will flash in more frequent intervals as the user gets closer and closer to the vehicle.

If the vehicle is located within a multi-level parking garage, the “up” and “down” indicator can be used to get a sense of whether the vehicle is located above or below the user.

wubr2000, Feb 26 2003

GPS Mall Car finder http://www.halfbake...Mall_20Car_20finder
Similar. This won't work in a parking garage, though. [waugsqueke, Oct 04 2004]


       Baked, by another name. Magellan manufacture a cheap GPS (about $100) with a moving map and also a direction-to-destination display. Ditto [WQ]'s comments about satellite coverage.   

       Tracker-style directional finders might work too, but AFAIK Tracker's not selling them.   

       Another solution: leave half a kilo of Coke on the passenger seat and follow the police sniffer dog.
FloridaManatee, Feb 27 2003





       Print. Trim to size. Put in wallet.
Next time you need to find your car, remove this handy compass, and you're all set. Just keep walking North...
thumbwax, Feb 27 2003

       How about putting a huge electromagnet in your trunk, strong enough to overpower the pull of magnetic north. Then you just carry a regular compass with you and it will point to your car. And all the other cars/shopping carts/small previously low flying aircraft/people with prosthetic limbs that are stuck to it. Then you can charge people to get their metal objects back. Then again maybe not, though this did give me a good new use for my gps dealy.
notme, Feb 27 2003


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