BMW announced that mobile car key technology will be upgraded to digital key plus, allowing iPhone users to unlock some models without taking out their mobile phones. This function mainly relies on the ultra wideband (UWB) chip U1, which is expected to be the first to appear on the all electric BMW IX. this model will be launched in Europe before the end of this year and in North America at the beginning of next year.
BMW said that the biggest advantage of digital key plus is the use of UWB, which allows you to unlock your iPhone without taking it out of your pocket or backpack. Comparatively speaking, the digital key currently used by apple and BMW is based on NFC, so the iPhone or apple watch must be close to the car to unlock. BMW also stressed that the UWB chip further improves the security, and can try to interfere with or intercept the relay attack of the signal to provide maximum security.
At present, there are only a limited number of iPhones with built-in U1 chip supporting UWB. It made its debut in iPhone 11 and was later included in iPhone 12, but it did not appear in the economic iPhone se 2020 released at the beginning of last year. Apple watch series 6, released last year, also includes the U1 chip.
At last year's WWDC conference, Apple announced that IOS 13.6 had built-in support for digital car keys. Foreign media macrumors pointed out that BMW is the only car manufacturer currently using the technology, but business Korea reported that Hyundai has planned to adopt the function later this year.
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