Start your car from your iPhone

Car security company Directed Electronics has unveiled a new iPhone application that lets customers control parts of their Viper SmartStart-enabled vehicle from their iPhone or iPod Touch.

Car security company Directed Electronics has unveiled a new iPhone application that lets customers control parts of their Viper SmartStart-enabled vehicle from their iPhone or iPod Touch.

(Credit: Directed Electronics)

The app, called Viper SmartStart, operates like a virtual keyfob that can do things like lock and unlock your vehicle, open the boot and activate the alarm.

Coolest of all, though, there's a "Smart Start" button in the centre of the screen that can turn on your vehicle. The company is promoting this as a simple way to defrost or cool off a car before you get in — that is, assuming you correctly set the climate settings the last time you were inside.

Since the app uses the iPhone's data connection to send the commands, you can control your car (or cars) from anywhere you have mobile phone coverage. An iPod Touch can be used too, so long as it's got access to a Wi-Fi network.

The app is completely free, but it relies on Viper's SmartStart system being installed in your car. SmartStart has yet to be launched in Australia, but according to Steve Siolis, general manager of Directed Electronics' Australia and New Zealand operations, the company is looking to launch the product down under prior to Christmas. This, however, hinges on how discussions pan out with the telcos in the next week or two.

So far, SmartStart is only available in the US, where it will retail for US$499 (AU$550) for a new installation or US$299 (AU$330) for cars that already have a Viper alarm system. A US$29.99 (AU$33) SmartStart subscription is also required, although purchasers will receive a year's free service.

Via CNET US' Car Tech blog.

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