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BMW Digital Key Plus allows iPhone to unlock iX from pocket or bag

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BMW has announced an upgraded version of its mobile car key technology called Digital Key Plus. We promise that iPhone owners will be able to unlock some BMW cars without having to remove their phone. This feature relies on the ultra-wideband (UWB) included in Apple’s flagship iPhone since iPhone 11 thanks to the U1 chip. Digital Key Plus will debut in Europe later this year and next year in the United States with the all-electric BMW iX.

According to BMW, the big advantage of Digital Key Plus is that it uses UWB, so it works on iPhones in your pocket or bag. In contrast, the current digital key system used by Apple and BMW is NFC-based, so you’ll need to hold your iPhone (or Apple Watch) near the car tag to unlock it. BMW also emphasizes the security of the new UWB approach and focuses on providing the highest possible security, resistant to relay attacks that can interfere with or intercept signals.

BMW claims that ultra-wideband offers the best possible security

Currently, only a limited number of iPhones have a U1 chip that provides UWB support. It debuted on the iPhone 11 and was later included on the iPhone 12, but not on the budget iPhone SE 2020 released earlier last year. The U1 chip was also included in the Apple Watch Series 6 released last year.

Following its announcement at WWDC 2020, Apple incorporated digital khaki support into iOS in version 13.6 last year. MacRumors states that BMW is currently the only car maker using this technology, but Business Korea reports that Hyundai will later adopt this feature. this year.

There is a impetus to make UWB the standard for digital keys. When it announced support for digital khakis last June, Apple said it was working on industry-wide standards for using U1 chips. In today’s announcement, BMW announced that it will work with Apple and the Car Connectivity Consortium to incorporate UWB support into version 3.0 of the digital key specification.

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