BMW’s Digital Key Plus will let iPhones unlock the iX from a pocket or bag
BMW has introduced an upgraded model of its cellular automotive key expertise dubbed Digital Key Plus. It guarantees to permit iPhone homeowners to unlock choose BMW automobiles with out having to take out their telephones. The characteristic depends on extremely wideband (UWB) which has been included in Apple’s flagship iPhones because the iPhone 11 due to the U1 chip. Digital Key Plus will debut on the all-electric BMW iX which launches later this yr in Europe and subsequent yr within the US.
The massive advantage of Digital Key Plus, in keeping with BMW, is that it makes use of UWB so it really works with an iPhone that’s nonetheless in your pocket or bag. In distinction, the present Digital Key system utilized by Apple and BMW is NFC based mostly, so you need to maintain an iPhone (or Apple Watch) close to the automotive’s tag to unlock it. BMW additionally emphasizes the safety of its new UWB strategy, noting that it’s proof against relay assaults that may attempt to jam or intercept its sign and provides “the best attainable safety.”
At current, solely a restricted variety of iPhones embody the U1 chip that gives UWB assist. It debuted within the iPhone 11 and was later included within the iPhone 12, however was lacking from the price range iPhone SE 2020 that launched early final yr. The U1 chip was additionally included on the Apple Watch Collection 6, launched final yr.
Apple constructed assist for digital automotive keys into iOS with model 13.6 final yr, following its announcement at WWDC 2020. MacRumors notes that BMW is presently the one automotive producer to make use of the expertise, although Enterprise Korea studies that Hyundai has plans to undertake the characteristic later this yr.
There’s a push to make UWB a normal for digital keys. When it introduced assist for digital automotive keys in June final yr, Apple stated it was engaged on an industry-wide customary that will use its U1 chip. In as we speak’s announcement, BMW says it’s working with Apple and the Automobile Connectivity Consortium to construct UWB assist into model 3.0 of the Digital Key specification.
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