Smart phones may make keys obsolete

| 04/07/2011

(NYTimes): Front pockets and purses are slowly being emptied of one of civilization’s most basic and enduring tools: the key. It’s being swallowed by the cellphone.  New technology lets smart-phones unlock hotel, office and house doors and open garages and even car doors.   It’s a not-too-distant cousin of the technology that allows key fobs to remotely unlock automobiles or key cards to be waved beside electronic pads at office entrances. What’s new is that it is on the device more people are using as the Swiss Army knife of electronics — in equal parts phone, memo pad, stereo, map, GPS unit, camera and game machine.

The phone simply sends a signal through the Internet and a converter box to a deadbolt or door knob. Other systems use internal company networks, like General Motors’ OnStar system, to unlock car doors.

Because nearly everyone has a cellphone, a number of start-ups, lock companies and carmakers are betting on broad acceptance of the technology. 

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Category: Technology

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