WASHINGTON – Use your head if you want to get more range out of a car’s remote.
Some people have heard of a trick used by valets; pressing the remote up to your chin, or against another portion your head, in order to increase its range. But is it science, or an urban legend?
Engineer Tim Pozar was one of the first people to have uncovered the phenomenon when he described it for a magazine article. He says the remote trick does indeed work, because the human head is well-suited to the job. “It’s a wonderful piece of water and flesh and things like that,” Pozar says. “So, it actually becomes a bit of an extension to the antenna system that’s on the key fob.” Pozar says a remote’s range can be doubled using this method.
Some, however, are skeptical. They say that holding the remote to your head helps the signal’s range simply because of the added elevation.
Pozar says numerous variables are involved, but a simple experiment with the remote should solve the problem one way of another. “You can just keep it away from your head and see if it works, and then just hold it up to you head and see if that works,” he says. Pozar doesn’t believe it poses a danger, since the remote uses so little power, much less than a cell phone does.