Unless you’re planning on buying a new BMW, it may be a bit hard to get excited about this feature just yet, but we think it’s pretty cool for what it says about the future of technology.
At this point, Car Key is really little more than a fancy way to unlock your car, and since it relies on NFC at this point, it’s arguably less convenient than simply using the keys that are already in your pocket. However, it also lets you easily share your car keys with friends and family via iMessage, which is way more convenient than trying to make copies of modern car keys, and it’s already enough to let you leave your keys at home. In fact, combined with Apple Pay, HomeKit, and the work Apple is doing on digital ID cards you may soon be able to leave home with nothing more than your iPhone, or even just your Apple Watch.
While BMW is the first onboard, we wouldn’t be surprised if 3-5 years from now it’s hard to find a car that doesn’t support Car Key, and the standard already supports the Ultra Wideband technology in current iPhone models, so it won’t be long before you can simply leave your iPhone in your pocket, in much the same way most key fobs work — but even more securely.