Tuesday, 26 January 2021 11:28

Smartphones will soon replace car keys

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Smartphones will soon replace car keys Smartphones will soon replace car keys Photo: BMWpromo/daniel kraus

Although it is not news that the car is unlocked with a mobile phone, although only from close range, there is now a new technology on Wednesday that will allow us to do it remotely, as we normally do with keys.

Among the many things that smartphones have "suffocated" or at least pushed into the background, such as MP3 players, digital cameras, GPS devices and bank cards, we will soon add another to this list that we use every day - car keys .

Although mobile phone unlock technology is already in use, it is NFC-based, which means you have to lean the phone against the vehicle, but thanks to another technology (UWB), cars will unlock phones remotely, as they do now we work with keys.

BMW iX, Photo: Promo

New models of Apple phones come with this technology, so BMW recently announced that UWB will use it on its new iX series electric vehicles.

The principle on which UWB works is best described on Wired, calling it "bluetooth on steroids", while Apple calls it internal GPS.

It is a short-range radio technology that will enable not only wireless communication with other devices, for example. unlocking the car door remotely, but also finding other devices nearby, similar to how devices like Tile's popular locators do.

Apple is not the only mobile company whose phones have UWB support - Samsung recently announced the Galaxy S21 series, which also implements this technology, and even before that, Xiaomi in the Mi10 series.

BMW iX, Photo: Promo

It seems like this is just the beginning because, according to information from the mobile industry, more and more companies are planning to introduce a phone with UWB support. So this year we can expect new Xiaomi phones with UWB support, but such devices are also being prepared by Oppo, Vivo and other companies, which means that many phones of the future will be able to replace car keys.

Of course, in addition to mobile manufacturers, UWB should also be accepted by car manufacturers. BMW has already confirmed this, and Samsung has announced that it is also cooperating with Audi, Ford and Genesis, so it is not difficult to assume that in the (near or distant) future, support for digital keys could become an industry standard.

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