nav search
Data Center Software Security Transformation DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes BOFH

Really... an iKeyfob? Apple continues war on fanbois' pockets

Relax: it's just a patent... for now

By Jasper Hamill, 22 Oct 2014

Apple has been granted a patent for an iKeyfob capable of unlocking doors, starting the engine and turning your car into a less good version of KITT from Knight Rider.

Serving as a kind of car controller, the patented device works in conjunction with iPhones or other mobile devices and also performs as an in-car gizmo using Apple's Carplay controller.

According to the patent, the iKeyring uses geofences to work out where you are in relation to your motor.

Once a driver gets close to the car, it allows them to perform a variety of tasks, saving a bit of time and dispelling frustration.

"An operator can lock doors on the vehicle subsequent to parking the vehicle," Apple wrote. "The locked state can prevent or deter theft of the vehicle, but it can also subsequently frustrate the operator when he returns to the vehicle. Unlocking a door can require additional time that it lengthens a total commute duration, or unlocking a door can be difficult if his hands are full of other objects (eg, groceries)."

The group of people most likely to benefit from this new system are, of course, thieves. It offers them a tantalising solution to the problem of nicking a car. All they need do is mug someone for their iKeyring and then sprint up, down and around the multi-storey until a car responds to it.

That might sound its wrong on so many levels, but happily the iKeyfob can team up with other iThings to provide more security. This could mean, for instance, that your car won't start up unless you type in a password. Hang on, wasn't it supposed to be a time-saver? ®

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing