BMW unveiled earlier this week a new iteration of their digital key – The Digital Key Plus. This latest incarnation of the service is based on Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technology, the technology found on the U1 chip of iPhone. The BMW Digital Key Plus feature will be first launched with the all-electric BMW iX for iPhone. Today, Samsung makes a similar announcement. According to The Verge, the new digital key for Audi, BMW, Ford, and Genesis may be available as soon as August 2021. Furthermore, the digital car keys are compatible with both iPhone and Android-based smartphones.

The engineering achievement comes from the FiRa Consortium and the Car Connectivity Consortium where Samsung and Apple are current members. “You’ll even be able to share your digital key across smartphones, regardless of brand or platform,” Samsung’s Kevin Chung announced during the company’s Galaxy S21 event today.

The new features enabled by the Digital Keys are based on Ultra-Wideband technology. This is a short-range, high-bandwidth digital radio technology that is characterized by an exceptionally precise localization with the greatest possible security. UWB’s precision also ensures that relay attacks, where the radio signal is jammed or intercepted, are not possible. Yesterday’s press release said that Apple and BMW have been working closely with the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) to establish the Digital Key specification 3.0 for UWB, providing a global standard for the automotive industry. The digital key also has a fallback system – the NFC – which allows you to tap the car with your phone to unlock it.

Furthermore, Samsung also showed a new feature which will enable you to find your car in a crowded parking lot, thanks to the augmented reality (AR). This feature only works with UWB-equipped cars and UWB-enabled phones. The latter list includes the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, S21 Plus and S21 Ultra and the Galaxy Note 20+.

[Source: The Verge]