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Apple’s NFC chip-maker wants you to unlock your car with an iPhone

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NXP, the company that built the NFC chips that debuted in Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, has revealed it hopes the tech will be picked up by car makers.

The firm is apparently in talks with the automotive industry’s top brass about the possibility of smartphones replacing car keys in the future.

Drue Freeman, Senior VP for global automotive sales & marketing at NXP, said: “Once they saw these announcements in September they kind of realised there was no going back on this technology so they better get moving and be quick on it.

Apple finally decided to add NFC to its iPhone spec sheet this year, with the intention of launching its own mobile payment system, Apple Pay.

The new contactless platform means iPhone-owners can wave their smartphones in front of NFC readers and pay for goods at brick-and-mortar stores sans using a physical credit or debit card.

NFC isn’t exclusive to Apple blowers however – the tech appears in a raft of other OEMs handsets. Google also has its own mobile wallet – Google Wallet, of course – although it’s not been nearly as well publicised as Apple Pay.

“If you now know one of the largest phone makers on the planet has bought into this, as well as the whole Android ecosystem, then it’s like, okay, let’s take advantage because we know it’s going to be ubiquitous and put it in our cars,” said Freeman.

Unfortunately, he’s keeping hush on which automotive execs he’s been shooting the NFC breeze with.

Reuters, however, reported that Freeman thinks that while NFC won’t ‘revolutionise car electronics’, he believes ‘it could make a number of existing features better.’

The NXP vice-president also revealed that some engineers are already experiment with ‘potential applications.’

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Sanity

October 31, 2014, 1:54 am

Why do I want to use a phone to unlock my car when a smart key is so much smaller? Why do all the companies assume I would carry my phone at all times?

muttleyuk

October 31, 2014, 10:14 am

Most people do carry their phones with them at all times.
He did say that it would make a number of existing features better. I also would still use a key, but I've forgotten it at times and it would have saved a lot of hassle if I had a phone app as a backup.

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