Among some of the more disturbing features revealed at yesterday’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference keynote were the additions of CarKey — a feature that is going to allow some BMW owners to unlock their car with their phone — and an app on your watch that literally listens to you wash your hands and reminds you if you haven’t washed them for long enough.
The company was adamant on Monday that it wants to replace your car keys, despite the fact that the company’s long-held goal of making its own EV hasn’t materialized. Instead, it appears to have surrendered the whole car and is now focusing on something a little bit easier: putting your car keys on your smartphone.
«They’ve been around for over 100 years but they’ve become big, bulky and ripe for reimagining,» am Apple company executive said on stage yesterday.
The company is going to be rolling out the feature for 2021 BMW 5 series vehicles to start and demonstrated the «feature» on Monday, showing that even just a door handle top with an iPhone can now unlock a sedan. Drivers can then place the phone on the car’s charging pad and start the vehicle.
But that’s not all: BMW owners will be able to unlock their car from long distances using a technology called «ultra wideband» and will also be able to share their car’s key simply by sending a message to someone else’s phone.
Recall, we wrote about a year ago about hackers that have cracked similar key fobs by using cloners and range extenders to steal vehicles, notably Teslas.
It was back in 2018 that researchers unveiled a serious flaw in the security of Tesla’s vehicles, relating to the Model S keyless entry system, according to Wired. With little more than standard radio equipment, hackers were able to defeat the car’s encryption and wirelessly clone the sedan’s key fob in seconds, allowing them to unlock the car and drive away without ever touching the owner’s key.
In response to this report, Tesla created a «new» version of its key fob that supposedly patched the underlying flaw. But now, predictably, the same researchers are back and say that they have found yet another vulnerability that even affects the replacement key fobs.
And if that wasn’t enough technology in your life, Apple is also installing new Covid-19 software on its Watch that is going to tell people if they don’t scrub their hands long enough when they’re washing them.
«Your Apple Watch can sense how long you wash your hands and coach you to make sure you’re doing it for as long as you’re supposed to,» a CNBC reporter Tweeted. The feature includes a hand washing timer that counts down using motion sensors and «listens to the sound of water on people’s hands».
Apparently not worried at all about their watch listening to them go about their daily business, there were no shortage of people who praised the idea. «Handwashing detection on the Apple Watch is one of those things that seem so incredibly small but can be so incredibly useful and important,» Tweeted one social media user.
What’s next, a watch that watches you when you shower and tells you when you’ve missed a spot?