Key fob

Key fob

A key fob is a generally decorative and at times useful item many people often carry with their keys, on a ring or a chain, for ease of tactile identification, to provide a better grip, or to make a personal statement. Key fobs are often called "key rings" or "key chains" in colloquial usage. The word "fob" may be linked to the low German dialect for the word "Fuppe", meaning "pocket", however, the real origin of the word is unknown.

Fobs vary considerably in size, style and functionality. Most commonly they are simple discs of smooth metal or plastic, typically with a message or symbol such as that of a logo (as with conference tchotchke) or a sign of an important group affiliation. A fob may be symbolic or strictly aesthetic, but it can also be a small tool. Many fobs are small flashlights, compasses, calculators, penknives, discount cards, bottle openers, or USB flash drives.

Electronic key fobs are used for remote keyless entry systems on motor vehicles. Early electric key fobs operated using infrared and required a clear line of sight to function. These could be copied using a programmable remote control. More recent models use challenge-response authentication over radio frequency, so these are harder to copy and do not need line of sight to operate. Programming these remotes sometimes requires the automotive dealership to connect a diagnostic tool, but many of them can be self-programmed by following a sequence of steps in the vehicle and usually requires at least 1 working key.

Key fobs are increasingly used in apartment buildings and condominium buildings for access to common areas (ie. lobby doors, storage areas, fitness room, pool). These usually contain a passive RFID tag. The fob operates in much the same manner as a proximity card to communicate (via a reader pad) with a central server for the building, which can be programmed to allow access only to those areas in which the tenant or owner is permitted to access, or only within certain time frames.

Telecommuters may also use an electronic device known as a key fob that provides one part of a three way match to log in over an unsecure network connection to a secure network. This kind of key fob may have a keypad on which the user must enter a PIN into to retrieve an access code, or it could be a display-only device such as a VPN token that algorithmically generates security codes as part of a challenge/response authentication system.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • key fob — noun a) an item carried on a key ring either as decoration or security b) a remote control for locking/unlocking a car door, carried with the car keys …   Wiktionary

  • key fob — n. security token: small device having a built in authentication mechanisms …   English contemporary dictionary

  • key fob — A device to hold keys …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • FOB — may refer to:*Fob pocket, a small pocket in trousers or waistcoats originally intended to hold a pocket watch *Key fob, a medallion used to identify a key ring, or position on the ring ** Fob is thus sometimes used for various small electronic… …   Wikipedia

  • access control key fob —   n.    any device other than a key designed to allow a token to be used and carried on a key ring …   Locksmith dictionary

  • fob — A device to hold keys; sometimes called a key fob. Also see key fob …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • fob — Ⅰ. fob [1] ► NOUN 1) a chain attached to a watch for carrying in a waistcoat or waistband pocket. 2) (also fob pocket) a small pocket for carrying a watch. 3) a tab on a key ring. ORIGIN probably related to German dialect Fuppe pocket . Ⅱ …   English terms dictionary

  • fob — fob1 [ fab ] verb ,fob off phrasal verb transitive 1. ) to give someone an answer or explanation that is not true or complete, in order to make them stop asking questions or complaining: I m tired of being fobbed off. fob someone off with… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • fob — 1 verb fobbing, fobbed fob sb off phrasal verb (T) 1 to try to stop someone complaining or asking questions by giving them explanations, excuses etc that are obviously untrue : fob sb off with: He tried to fob her off with some story about losing …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • fob — I UK [fɒb] / US [fɑb] verb Word forms fob : present tense I/you/we/they fob he/she/it fobs present participle fobbing past tense fobbed past participle fobbed Phrasal verbs: fob off II UK [fɒb] / US [fɑb] noun [countable] Word forms fob :… …   English dictionary

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