BMW Introduces i8 Touchscreen Key Fob

MAR 20 2015 BY STAFF 13

The highly-rumored and somewhat previewed intelligent BMW keyfob was finally introduced at the 2015 CES.

BMW presented a new ultra-modern key fob with display for the pioneering BMW i8 plug-in-hybrid sports car. It’s technically sophisticated design featuring a novel three-dimensional glass surface and aluminum clasps perfectly matches its state-of-the-art functionality. Besides all the convenience functions of a remote key – unlocking, locking and fail safe identification of the key for starting the vehicle – this premium key fob also shows vehicle status displays on a 2.2-inch LCD screen. The display provides information on the fuel level, for instance, or the battery electric range. Swiping the touchscreen with the same gestures used to control a smartphone opens up sub menus, which show whether the doors and windows are locked or a service is due, for example.

*Editor’s Note: This post appears on BMWBLOG.  Check it out here.

bmw i8 key 750x390 BMW introduces the Key fob with touchscreen display

BMW i8 Key Fob

Touchscreen for controlling functions.The key fob with display is therefore capable of showing the sort of status information that can be accessed on a smartphone with the BMW i Remote app. However, the data is transmitted to this premium key fob by means of the same radio signal used to lock or unlock the vehicle. The information can be updated if the vehicle is within radio range of the key.The new key fob combines a compact format with optimum usability and legibility. The display boasts the same crystal-clear resolution as today’s smartphones, while a lithium-ion battery provides the power. The key can be recharged inside the vehicle inductively (contact-free) by placing it in a special charging tray, or by using the micro USB port. Smart energy management ensures the key functions can be used for at least three months without charging.

bmw i8 keyfob 750x536 BMW introduces the Key fob with touchscreen display

BMW i8 Key Fob

A key fob with display was already included as part of the specification of the one-off BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition 2014 model that was auctioned in Pebble Beach. The innovative premium key fob will be available as an option for the BMW i8 from autumn 2015.

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13 Comments on "BMW Introduces i8 Touchscreen Key Fob"

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My i3 key fob is quite large and very expensive to replace. This new i8 key fob looks even larger and will be even more expensive to replace. With larger and larger smart phones, and now large key fobs, clothing designers had better add larger pockets.

Yeah, it looks too big to haul around. Just leave in the car permanently, I guess.

Good idea.
This fancy key fob has a smart controller, display, battery. Sounds like all the ingredients in a smartphone. Don’t need to carry this large “rat” shape device in my pocket. Not being flat like a phone, I can imagine it might be more prone to damage.

I think a better option is just to use your smartphone as the key. Blu-tooth for close operations and the cell signal for far operations. I think Tesla’s do this. Why do I need to carry another object?

Just make sure your phone is charged before you get out of the car.

That is why you have a smartphone for. It would be nice 10 years ago.

I’m all for intelligent keyfobs. But knowing car manufacturers (especially BMW) it will be overpriced. There’s probably only $40 worth of electronics there. But I bet they cost 10x that much.

You’re paying for name and all that exclusivity that goes with it.

Key fobs for Lexus, Cadillac, Mercedes.have already been $300-$600 each for years now.

Place a wristband on it and it could be a Beemer watch.

Wait .. This key is too large but a smartphone is OK? If it were available for i3, I would get it. I don’t need a GIANT phone in my pocket all the time. Leave the smartphone in the car and take the key.

I think you mean the opposite? A keyfob is useless until it is near the car (including this one, as the information is transmitted with radio signals from the car). A smartphone is useful anywhere.

For the record though, I think smartphones are getting too big too (trying to find good phone with a screen smaller than 5 inches is getting harder and harder).

BMW? You mean to tell us that all the wealthy snoots who already plucked down 130+k [at least] for an I8 will not automatically be mailed their updated Key FOB in a velvet box? You want more money for this accessory which should have already come with this overpriced car? Hurrah for BMW, NOT!