Can your smartphone replace your car key?
Volvo thinks yes.
We're taking a look at its phone as key app here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
So the way the app works is it uses a Bluetooth connection with the car so that when you're nearby, the car automatically unlocks.
Now Volvo says that there are three main advantages to having a phone handle your car key's responsibility.
The first is personal convenience.
It's just one fewer thing that you have to carry around with you.
You can leave the car keys at home.
The second is that you can share access to your car.
So for example in another country, and your car is back home and someone else in your family wants to use it, you can grant them access on their smartphone so that they can get into the car.
The third can be to hire and unlock a rental vehicle.
So you can see here we're using the app, it's just a demo of course, but you can go to these screens, find the car you're looking for, hire it and that car is yours to use.
If you're loaning someone access to the car then you can set the end time for that access and they can also virtually return the key to you.
Now obviously if you're watching this, you might be immediately having some security worries.
Like what if someone steals your phone?
Will the they then be able to get access to your car without your permission?
That's a valid concern.
I guess if someone steals your phone then you can disable access via the app.
You will though of course, have to make sure that your phone stays charged.
You wouldn't want to be traveling home from work at the end of the day having left your car keys at home, and your phone's died.
You might be looking up bus time table, on a friend's phone in that situation.
The Volvo Kings point out, that it isn't going to replace car keys in the near future.
It's just a nice little extra.
For this system, it's going to get a pilot scheme in the spring.
Let me know what you think.
Obviously, we're putting loads more information on our smartphones.
Is that a sensible use to great technology or are there potential hazards ahead that we might not have foreseen?
Let me know and check out cnet.com/nwt for much more.
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