Directed Electronics, a California based company has released a new iPhone application that lets users lock, unlock and even remotely start their cars without the need of a key fob.
Unlike traditional key remotes that is effective only within a small range, Viper SmartStart is operable from virtually any distance.
The SmartStart feature can work on any car with electric windows and locks, with no necessity for an existing remote start feature. To begin with, users need to install a compatible Viper remote system receiver available for $499 from Best Buy on their cars. Once done, they can download and install the free iPhone app from the iPhone App Store and configure the application to their car to start remotely operating the car. Directed Electronics also claims that one app can be configured to work with multiple vehicles.
This iPhone app is great for places that can get really cold during winter. People in these regions may use the app to remotely turn their cars on and let the engine heat up sufficiently before they get out of their houses. Also, this app would be great for those who have a habit of locking their keys inside the car. The app also comes with a panic button to locate the car in a parking lot.
However, the iPhone app can turn out to be quite dangerous if not properly handled. This is especially true of families with children who have access to their parents' iPhones. Also, in cases of mobile phone theft, the thieves get a bonus access to the victim's car as well!
While these dangers do exist, the pros do weigh over the cons. By providing password protection on the iPhone app and a web-based application to disable the app in case of phone theft, the dangers concerning the app can be minimized. With proper protection in place, this iPhone app looks to have a great potential.
How do you find this iPhone application? Will you use this app to remotely control your car? Please tell us in the comments.
[via USA Today]