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.
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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. 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.