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

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 …

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WTF?

Er wait. Tesla and a lot of other folks already have this. What the hell is the new art here?

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The Apple logo?

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I have keyless entry on a Ford Focus.

To open the car I put my hand on the door handle.

To lock the doors I touch the door handle lightly with my hand/thumb/finger.

To start the car I sit in it and press a button.

I can program it to open just one door or all the doors.

I can lock all the doors when inside by pressing one button.

How on earth would I save any more time? Perhaps a micro second of a micro second?

Start the car perhaps while I am walking towards it? Waste of fuel.

If I lose the key fob I still have my phone to call for help.

If I lose my phone I can still drive home.

If only they came up with some kind of iTraffic management that when activated moved every other car on the road out of the way, now that would be something.

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Anonymous Coward

The difference here is that Apple take a 30% cut of the cost of opening your car door every time you log into iTunes to open your car door.

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>What the hell is the new art here?

Google announcement of a self-driving keyfob cloud that serves you ads in 3, 2, 1...

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Re: I can lock all the doors

It's the only way to live.

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M W

Rounded corners ?

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WTF?

"Unlocking a door can require additional time that it lengthens a total commute duration"

If your journey is so short that the time to unlock the car door is at all a consideration in how long it takes then why are you using the car at all? If a second or two is significant then the journey is so short (a few metres?) that it'd be as quick to walk.

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Aimed at the Merkin market then

In a place that shall remain unnamed I've seen people drive the whole 30 m that separated their motel from the pizzeria's parking lot.

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Re: Aimed at the Merkin market then

what a whole 30m....in LA i've seen groups get into the car just to go to the bar next door.

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Re: Aimed at the Merkin market then

Yes but LA is special. It's the only place while walking out of a store I've been stalked by someone looking for a parking space only to have them turn around when it was clear I was parked further than they wanted. I kind of knew it was coming since there were several open spaces next to me at the end of the lot.

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Re: Aimed at the Merkin market then

As a 'Merkin I can only say "Yup, that sounds like my neighbors". That being said, I move as close as I can when I get a new job just so that I can walk to work in stead of driving.

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Re: Aimed at the Merkin market then

There's plenty of motels that can't be walked to, and quite a few where you don't want to walk to.

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Nothing new: Key helps locate a car

That is what most car keys do already. Press a button and your car honks or flashes it's lights.

So car thieves could have used this "feature" for years.

If Apple were to use the Apple watch as a key then this kind of theft would not work. The watch monitors heart rate and switches off payment functionality when the watch is removed from one's wrist. Similarly it could stop working as a car key.

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WTF?

Re: Nothing new: Key helps locate a car

So the thief just puts the stolen watch on their own wrist, assuming they have a pulse.

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Re: Nothing new: Key helps locate a car

You have to authenticate with a password after putting the watch on your wrist. This authentication remains valid as long you have a pulse.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nothing new: Key helps locate a car

Yes but then there is the delay as you input your 24 character pass code into your watch because you have been running so fast from your assailant that you are out of breath and cannot speak.

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It's an Apple car patent

Relax, nothing will come of it...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/26/apple_car_keys/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/18/apple_patents_new_fondleslab_dashboard_distraction_device/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/01/apple_adjustable_car_interior_patent/

Etc...

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Re: It's an Apple car patent

Which just goes to show they are patent trolls.

Patent everything, no matter how minor, then if someone else does it. BANG, gazzilion dollars or we block all imports.

This is just so vague it could cover anything, so it's bound to get passed.

BTW, Clifford alarms and may others have auto start and keyless entry.

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Stop

Re: It's an Apple car patent

I don't think you understand the definition of a patent troll. A patent troll is a non practicing entity (ie. they don't make anything) that makes money purely by asserting patents, normally that have been purchased rather than developing them themselves, and only when they have been incorporated into a successful product.

Apple, Microsoft, Google, IBM and pretty much any tech company you care to mention are continually generating patent, many of which will never make it into actual products. Some of them (Microsoft and IBM for example) make considerable money from licensing, but this doesn't make them patent trolls.

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Re: It's an Apple car patent

Surely, if you patent something not with the intent to make it yourself, but to prevent others from making it, you're abusing the system?

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Re: It's an Apple car patent

Who said that they have no intention of using it themselves? They may or may not decide to make a product using it, depending on how well development of the idea progresses and market demand. They may decide to licence the technology, make it part of a standard or keep it for themselves. Whatever they do, they have a patent for a particular method, not all possible methods of doing something. Existing keyless entry systems don't invalidate the patent IF they work in a different way, and this patent doesn't prevent anyone from creating a different way of doing the same thing.

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Re: It's an Apple car patent

Find just ONE instance where Apple has sued someone for violating a patent they hold that they have no products that use it, and don't later make a product that uses it.

Apple only cares about people copying what they do. They could care less if they come up with something, decide they aren't interested in making it a product, and someone else does it.

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Re: It's an Apple car patent

I assume the two downvoters will back up their downvotes with examples?

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Re: It's an Apple car patent

Of course not, there are some Apple haters who don't like anyone questioning anti-Apple posts, even when that post is 100% incorrect.

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Fobbed off ?

and what about my current fob ?

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Re: Fobbed off ?

It's illegal.

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Meh

Thieves also have keyless entry...

It's called a center punch.

I accept that this does not start the car and only gives immediate access to any item left lying around.

However, ones car is more likely to be targeted by equipped opportunists rather than dedicated ringers/exporters.

This iKeythingy may provide some convenience but I can't see how it is any more secure than any current keyless entry system. This is not about innovation, it has been a long time since Apple was about innovation.

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Figure 1B

Does it only work and the patent apply if the car is parked facing east?

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Anonymous Coward

K.I.T.T., not Kit, surely?

Am I really the first one to notice this typo? Knight Industries Two (later, Three) Thousand, apparently. So they say. Not that I would admit to knowing this, you understand. Cos I don't. I never watched the series, of course.

Oh. I see why I'm the first one now. Changing to anonymous before posting. Oops.

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Meh

Re: K.I.T.T., not Kit, surely?

The first talking car I came across was an Austin Maestro I took some driving lessons in. It didn't seem nearly so impressive after Knight Rider!

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Re: Austin Maestro

"The first talking car I came across was an Austin Maestro I took some driving lessons in. It didn't seem nearly so impressive after Knight Rider!"

I drove a Maestro once - to be honest, it didn't seem particularly impressive after a normal car, never mind KITT

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Facepalm

improvement?

So, this offers the same functionality which is already available on a number of keyless entry systems in the marketplace, but it needs to work in conjunction with a smartphone device. Basically, they've taken an existing idea and made it worse.

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Coat

Re: improvement?

The same functionality, except now your car plays U2 songs whenever you try to unlock it.

As you say, they've taken an existing idea and made it worse!

"I'm sure the keys are in one of my coat pockets" ------------------------>

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Re: improvement?

"The same functionality, except now your car plays U2 songs whenever you try to unlock it."

POTD!

Upvoted.

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Wasn't KARR the "less good version" of KITT?

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Yup, the Knight Automated Roving Robot.

Somehow I think I could have mis-spent my youth more productively, as I knew that without having to look it up...

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>>>>This could mean, for instance, that your car won't start up unless you type in a password.

Thumbprint. Oh do please catch up.

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Anonymous Coward

Just buy an Italian car from the 80's

My old Alfa door locks would open for any suitably shaped key-like object.

My faves were an ice lolly stick or a ring-pull from a soft drink can.

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Anonymous Coward

The future of iPhone users...

They daren't let their kids anywhere near their precious iPhones, in case they kill the battery.

No battery... no way to pay for things, watch won't work and your car won't let you in.

Brave New World....

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Anonymous Coward

Proximity...

If you park your car close to your house and the sensors can detect the fob... does that mean your car will never lock?

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Anonymous Coward

Revenge

Considering that there will be a high priority that this Ikey can be hacked, I can see the future now. Someone develops an app that thieves can use to steal cars. All they would have to do is get near the car and that app would exploit some weakness in the Ikey. And this app will be available for $3.99 at the Google Play Store.

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Re: Revenge

It will be the natural course of events.

I refer you to: Already Been Proven Practical

http://www.zdnet.com/hackers-steal-keyless-bmw-in-under-3-minutes-video-7000000507/

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2011/08/19/hacked-in-60-seconds-thieves-could-steal-cars-via-text-messages/

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/thieves-steals-cars-with-a-click-of-the-computer-instead-of-force/story-fni0fit3-1227055881485?nk=74f952d29eb2b781fea3deaec80e90ec

The search results already run into several pages with mostly unique returns.

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Still holding to my prediciton

When I predicted that the more cars become part of the Internet of Stupid Things the easier they will be to steal and burgle, I didn't realize some fucking dumbasses would try to make it even easier.

Yes, I know keyless entry and start have been around for a few years now, but this IS Apple we're talking about. You know, iCloud, China? Those guys.

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KARR

"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."

You mean KITT's evil sibling KARR? No thanks.

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"Siri, open the boot"

(or should that be 'trunk'?)

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