By: Gigaom
December 28, 2012 at 13:43 PM EST
Hyundai wants your NFC-enabled smartphone to be your car keys
Car keys may soon be a thing of the past. Hyundai is testing out a concept in which it allows users to access their car using NFC-enabled smartphones. The tap-and-go interaction can also trigger individual user preferences and initiate streaming between the phone and car.

As we’ve pointed out, NFC isn’t just about payments and Hyundai is showing how it might be used to replace your next set of car keys. The auto maker is testing a new prototype of its Connectivity Concept, which allows users to access their car and interact with it using NFC-enabled smartphones.

The technology, which won’t actually go into production until 2015, allows a user to unlock and lock their car by tapping their phone on an NFC tag on the car door. That would mimic some of the basic building access tests we’re seeing using NFC smartphones. And it also replicates some of the mobile applications that allow for remote entry via a smartphone.

But Hyundai wants to go further. Once a user gets in the car, they place their smartphone in a center console, activating their specific user profile. The car then remembers the user’s specific settings such as radio station preferences and seating positions.

hyundai, NFCUsers can stream their own music and phone contacts to the car’s 7-inch touch screen display, which can also interact with a phone’s navigation, multimedia and applications. It’s not clear if the streaming is via Bluetooth. The center console can also wirelessly charge the phone, something Toyota is integrating into its 2013 Avalon Limited. 

Hyundai said it will be relying on a partnership with Broadcom to power its upcoming connected cars. This will be part of a larger package of connected services from Hyundai such as infotainment, telematics, reverse parking cameras and lane departure warnings.

I do wonder how much added security will be layered on because I wouldn’t want someone to be able to get into my car and drive off with my phone. Users will likely need to enter in a PIN, I imagine, to gain access to or start the car. But this shows again how NFC can be provide value in various settings because it makes tap-and-go interactions intelligent and can simplify the process of connecting and streaming information.



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