NXP Semiconductors NV has just announced the availability of its production-ready single-chip solution for multifunction car keys. The NCF2970 (KEyLink Lite) can do more than just open your car doors – it packs NFC (Near Field Communications) technology that allows it to connect to NFC-compliant devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. If you’re wondering how useful NFC-enabled keys can be, here’s a couple of examples:
As a car finder: when you park your car, the key can record the GPS coordinates of your car. Later when you’re having trouble locating your car, you can just connect it to your phone which can then pull the coordinates from the key and locate your car on a map for you.
Route planner: load up your destination in the comfort of your own home, and store it in the key. When you go into the car, you can just transfer the destination via NFC to the GPS unit in the car – no more tapping in locations manually, saving you the hassle of searching and looking for a place.
Car Self-Diagnosis – transfer diagnostic data from your car to a computer via the car key. No more dealing with connecting funky cables to the car to get special readings. Just tap your keys.
No word on when we’ll start seeing these keys being used, but they sure make your car keys more valuable than they already are. What do you think of NFC-enabled keys – a necessity or something you can do without?