In Japan, Mobile Phones Lock, Unlock and Start Vehicles

Dennis Faas's picture

We have all heard the horror stories. A person spends what seems like an eternity walking around a crowded parking lot in search of their vehicle only to discover that their keys have been locked inside. A new mobile phone developed by Sharp will not only give owners access to their vehicles without the use of a key, but also create the ability to start a car engine without having to put a key in the ignition.

Of course, there is one catch: The actual key must still remain in the vicinity of the vehicle prior to activation.

The new phone will use technology similar to the "Intelligent Key" system adopted by Nissan Motors. Intelligent Keys need only to be in the vicinity of the vehicle for the doors to automatically open, while the engine will start up on its own as soon as the key enters the vehicle. (Source:

This means that car owners will never have to worry about forgetting to lock their vehicles ever again.

Granted, there are a number of security threats that could easily be associated with the Intelligent Key. The system has no way of knowing if the key holder is the actual owner of the vehicle.

Still, Nissan has included the system in more than one million of their cars shipped around the world since 2002. (Source:

The key-like function by Sharp is yet another reason why Japanese mobile phones have the reputation of being some of the most sophisticated around. Already, many standard Japanese mobile phones come loaded with digital TV, music players, GPS and wireless credit cards.

Sharp is hoping to have a name for their phones and release them on the market sometime in March 2009.

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