May 2023 Keep Device Update - Alarm, Deterrent, and Automatic Arm/Disarm


We hope you have been enjoying your experience with your Keep device thus far. We are appreciative of your feedback and are excited to deploy our first major set of changes to improve your experience. Your device will automatically update after it connects to the cellular network. Nothing is required on your part.  



An Entry Event or Alarm is what we call it when both the radar and heat sensors detect motion inside your vehicle. 

The video you now receive for any Entry Events should be much more reliable. 

We changed our approach from trying to stream video to instead taking a 10 second clip, and then transferring it after it was complete. The technical details are that we switched from using gstreamer and Kinesis video within Amazon Web Services to instead utilize ffmpeg and Amazon S3 storage. This change also created software infrastructure that we will re-use to deliver pictures upon Deterrent Events.



A Deterrent Event is what we call it when your device radar detects motion close to your car. Our goal is to notify you and provide some visual information so that you can take action, if needed. Initially, we tried to use our video recording, but ran into issues with users accidentally leaving objects in the device that blocked the radar, resulting in repetitive Deterrent Events and greater than desired energy consumption, since the device was essentially streaming video. 

So we turned off the video capture during Deterrent Events. We know that no one wants to receive notification that something is happening around their vehicle without some type of an accompanying visual, and therefore have been working hard to bring back useful visual information.

Pictures with Deterrent Events

You will now receive a picture with the Deterrent Events. This takes less energy to capture and transmit relative to video and is hopefully still useful. 

Radar Sensitivity Setting

If you receive too many Deterrent Events, you can lower the sensitivity of your radar by going to the settings portion of your mobile app. 

Noisy Deterrent Event Filtering

Also, we have started automatically turning off your radar if you leave something in the device. What happens is that we switch to a mode where we are only utilizing the heat sensors to detect motion inside your vehicle. In this scenario, since the radar is turned off, the device will no longer perform Deterrent Activity, so no chirping & flashing of lights for someone peeking in. 



Fob & Device Interaction

Your device has new capability to detect the location of your fob with greater precision. This means that if you park close to your house and carry your keys around with you, or park close to your office, you don’t have to worry about your device disarming. It can better sense your fob location and will know that you are too far away. 

Disarming & Arming

As you approach your vehicle, there is a chance that you will see it turn green from its mostly colorless Armed state. And when you walk away from your vehicle and it Arms, it will remain red for 1 minute. 

Preparing to Arm

There will no longer be a 5 minute requirement for Preparing to Arm. You can set Preparing to Arm to its minimum and enjoy near instantaneous arming without the transition period. However, if you have children that travel with you frequently, we recommend you keep a 2-5 minute Preparing to Arm. This will enable you to place one child in the car, walk away with your keys, and then return with the next child. Or retrieve groceries, etc. If you do not have children, feel free to set Preparing to Arm to its minimum.

Please remember that you can bypass the “Preparing to Arm” state by using the manual Arm button within the mobile app. The device will immediately arm and can only be disarmed by pressing the Disarm button in the mobile app. So if you have children and want to continue to have a few minutes of Preparing to Arm for automatic arming and disarming, you can still enjoy immediate Arming whenever you need it. 


Now that the device tracks the proximity of the fob in greater granularity, the device can tell if your fob is inside your vehicle or just close by. Moving forward, if you take a nap, work call, or spend the night in your vehicle, the device will not arm. It will enter a mode called “Occupied” which means that the device never detected your fob leaving the vehicle. It will exit this mode when your fob is no longer close to the device.

If you really would like to know the technical details, what has changed is that we are now utilizing RSSI (received signal strength indicator) as a proxy for distance. While the fob still only transmits with movement (to maximize battery life for you), it will only disarm the device when the RSSI is less than 70. When the RSSI exceeds 75, then the device will arm. Disarms only require one data point below 70 while arming requires three consecutive data points. The reason we have a different arming vs disarming threshold is to prevent rapid oscillation between Armed and Disarmed if you are close to your vehicle.

Back to blog