Unlock and start your car with your iPhone

Tue, Oct 13, 2009


MacDailyNews reports:

Directed Electronics, the leader in vehicle security and remote start, has introduced the Viper SmartStart, which allows users to start their car with the push of a button from their iPhone or iPod touch.

Users simply download the free Viper SmartStart app from Apple’s iTunes App Store, have Viper SmartStart professionally installed on their vehicle, and then activate their account to start experiencing the year-round comfort and convenience of Viper SmartStart.

Particularly popular in cold weather climates, remote start allows users to start their vehicle by remote control to defrost the windows and pre-warm the cabin, so they get into a warm car that’s ready to drive. Remote start can also be used to pre-cool the vehicle in hot weather by activating the air conditioning.

Most remote start systems use a small remote control on the user’s keychain to activate remote start, but these “keyfobs” typically have limited range. Viper SmartStart has virtually unlimited range. If the iPhone and the vehicle have signal, then Viper SmartStart starts the car with the press of a button.

Viper SmartStart has many other capabilities beyond remote start as well. Depending on the installation, users can also lock and unlock the doors, pop the trunk, find their car in a parking lot, or arm their security system. Users can even control multiple cars from one iPhone.

… Two Viper SmartStart models are available. Users who don’t have remote start can purchase the Viper SmartStart System (MSRP: US$499) while those who already have a compatible Viper system can purchase just the Viper SmartStart Module (MSRP: $299). Viper SmartStart will be available at Best Buy stores starting October 13.

A nifty idea, but it seems a bit pricey.  Also, it would seem more convenient to have that functionality on a keyfob (despite its “limited range”) than on an iPhone that might run out of juice.



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