BMW announces new Digital Key Plus, uses Ultra Wideband in iPhone

P90411220 Highres The Bmw Digital Key

P90411220 Highres The Bmw Digital Key

Samsung yesterday announced plans to partner with some auto manufacturers to enable the Galaxy S flagship products to double as a digital key for the selected cars.

The German carmaker has now revealed an enhanced version of this system called Digital Key Plus, which uses the ultra-wideband (UWB) technology found in the U1 chip in the iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and Apple Watch Series 6. That is an improvement over the existing BMW Digital Key, which requires users to hold iPhone up to a door handle to gain entry and subsequently place the device in a provided Qi-enabled smartphone tray to start the vehicle. Dubbed Digital Key, it allowed owners to conveniently and securely lock, unlock and even start their BMW with a compatible Apple iPhone.

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Apple started rolling out Ultra Wideband support to some of its devices in 2019 with the U1 chip in iPhone 11 models, followed by iPhone 12 models a year ago.

Samsung said that, with precise distance calculation, its UWB-enabled digital key sends short pulses between the smartphone and the paired vehicle, unlocking the door once you reach it. Samsung also said that NFC technology also provides another option for use of digital keys, although less precise. This ensures that relay attacks, where the radio signal is jammed or intercepted, are not possible. Now, Digital Key Plus will unlock the potential of UWB and the U1 chip in the iPhone to unlock your auto. BMW says it was worked closely with Apple and the Car Connectivity Consortium "to establish the Digital Key specification 3.0 for UWB", this is great news, as it means that beyond the new iX, more cars and manufacturers will be able to take advantage of this in future.

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