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Motorola unveils CreataLink pager and car-finder

December 10, 1997

CHICAGO (AP) _ Doctors first became hip to pagers, then teens. Now, Motorola Corp. has created a device to let cars get in on the act.

CreataLink, a pager installed in vehicles, helps you find your car if you’ve forgotten where it’s parked. The pager also will lock the car and start it from afar. And if the car gets stolen, a quick page will cut the engine.

``If you’re locked out, you can take seconds to change that,″ said Allan Spiro, marketing manager for Motorola’s paging systems group in Boynton Beach, Fla.

The device, which is installed in the car’s dashboard or engine compartment, is similar to remote car starters, but has more features and greater range.

The paging system can be accessed from anywhere in the country. Remote starters usually have a range of no more than 50 feet and can be blocked by buildings or other objects.

CreataLink allows a customer to dial a toll-free pager number and enter the code to identify the vehicle. The customer then enters another code to activate functions in the vehicle, from unlocking the door to turning on the lights and air-conditioning to starting or killing the engine.

For those who’ve forgotten where their car is, the pager will set off the car’s horn and flash its lights.

The pager, developed solely to access vehicles, costs $100 and an additional $25 for unlimited paging for a year. There is a $50 charge to install the equipment in the vehicle.

The device likely will be shipped to car alarm companies within six weeks, Spiro said Wednesday.

Analysts say Motorola, a leading electronics manufacturer, is being forced to look at other uses for pagers because of the advent of digital cellular phones, which combine paging functions with telephones.

``Paging as we know it has pretty much come to the end of the line as a person-to-person messaging technology,″ said Ira Brodsky, president of wireless research firm Datacomm Research Co.

``Something like (CreataLink) is exactly where the paging industry has to go _ focusing more on remote control applications,″ he said. ``The potential market there is probably in the billions of dollars.″

Some car owners, though, might find CreataLink an unwelcome intrusion.

Motorola says car finance companies are interested in using the device to force deadbeats into making payments. The companies could send owners several warnings by honking the car horn before cutting off the engine.

If the customer promises to pay, ``you can send out a second page to turn the car on,″ Spiro said.

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