At the media launch of the new 2016 BMW 7 Series, we had the opportunity to play around with BMW’s latest and greatest keyfob. Dubbed BMW Display Key, the touch-sensitive key is an optional item for the new 7 Series and in the U.S., it only costs $250. For that little amount – which is cheaper than many other BMW keyfob replacements – they key features four buttons on the front for lock, unlock, trunk release, and panic.
In the center of the key is a full color touchscreen where you can swipe back and forth between different functions, i.e. door locking status, toggle lights, fuel range and climate control scheduling. In Europe, the BMW Digital Key can be used to self-park your 7 Series, a feature that has yet to be approved by the U.S. regulatory boards.
BMW says the key’s battery has about a week long life and can be recharged wirelessly in the car’s armrest. You can still use the key to unlock the car even if the touchscreen is not functional.
It’s amazing what BMW has been able to achieve with what we always thought was just a basic tool and we expect future generation keyfobs to get even smarter.