This is the app that will persuade me to upgrade my phone. I don’t want to because I’m cheap, but the idea that it can unlock my front door if I forget a key–that might be the killer app. Read on.
Where did I leave my iKey? The iPhone app that can unlock your front door
By Dan Newling
For its fans, the iPhone is the one gadget they simply cannot leave home without.
Now it seems that if they do… they may not be able to get back in.
The company behind the iPhone is working on a way to transform the multimedia device into a ultra-modern version of the humble door key.
Inevitably dubbed the iKey, the radical modification would mean that Apple iPhone owners could abandon the traditional bunch of metal house keys.
Instead, users would simply input a personal identification number into their phone then wave it over an electronic pad fitted next to their front door.
The development is the latest in a series of applications – or ‘apps’ as they are known by users – by which the Apple phone can be modified in hitherto unknown ways.
A patent recently filed with the US Patent Office indicates that the iKey would work using a similar principle to the Oyster card system used in London’s public transport network.
And it reveals that the same technology could be used to lock, open and start cars or other electronic devices.
The patent application states: ‘The device can communicate with an external device to open a lock. By way of example, the electronic device may be a model of an iPhone.
‘The external device may be any suitable electronic device such as a portable media player, personal data assistant or electronic lock that may be used to access a door, car, house or other physical area.’