As we’re entering the convergence between mobile phones and cars, your smartphone, as powerful as it may be, still may not be able to replace physical car keys. Such is the case with the BMW i8, which will be relying on a newly designed smarter key to power the automobile.
Though we may look towards smartphones to remotely unlock our cars, check the car’s performance and diagnostics, and log our trips, the leaked BMW i8 key, if real, would do all that on the key’s built-in high resolution LCD display. The key itself would be able to display vital car statistics as well as come with traditional buttons to unlock and lock the car doors, pop the trunk, and sound the alarm if you need to use the panic mode.
According to Bimmerfile, current keys for the i3 and i8 that are being shown off right now look nothing like the image of the leaked key.
Hopefully, we’ll learn more about BMW’s plans for this key. One of the biggest battery drain for a phone is the display, and it’s unclear how long the key and its high resolution display could stay on if it doesn’t get recharged in the car when it’s inserted into the ignition frequently.
So while your favorite phone may still not be the default method to unlock your car or start it, these smarter car keys give us hope that automakers are looking at integrating more mobile technologies into cars.