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i8 Key Fob with 2.2" Display Brought Out by BMW at 2015 CES

Remember the futuristic-looking key fob the i8 was supposed to have? Well, it’s back, and BMW purportedly brought it out once again at their stand in Las Vegas, at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.
BMW i8 key fob 7 photos
Photo: bmw
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The ultra-modern key fob has a display on it, showing us how a 3D fob should look like. In its construction it encompasses glass and aluminum and has more than just the usual functional buttons on it.

Besides doing what any normal key does (locking and unlocking), you can also use this fob to check your car’s status on a 2.2-inch (5 cm) LCD screen. The display will tell you all about the car’s fuel level or the electric charge/range.

Just like a smartphone, swiping the screen allows you to control submenus that can show you if the doors or windows are locked or if the service interval is up.

The problem is, this futuristic device uses the same system as a regular key. The same radio signal a conventional key uses to lock and unlock the car is employed and that means that the information can only be updated if you’re within a certain range from the i8.

To power it up, a lithium-ion battery was inserted in the fob and charging the key takes place thanks to a inductive tray inside the car. Basically you can use wireless charging both inside and out of the i8. If you feel queasy about magnetic fields, you can also charge it with a micro-USB port just like any normal phone. However, you shouldn’t be too worried about battery life as BMW claims that you’ll only have to charge it once every 3 months.

The main issue is that BMW is only teasing us with it for now as no car, including the i8, doesn’t come with it. The innovative premium key fob will be available as an option for the plug-in hybrid sports car starting this autumn and the G11 7 Series might also get it once it’s released. Keep your fingers crossed!
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