A ‘Carkey’ API appeared in the first beta version of iOS 13.4. However, a new patent application, reported on by AppleInsider, indicated the technology could have other uses, like a Homekit connected smart lock.

The first beta of iOS 13.4 revealed traces of a “CarKey” API, one which would effectively turn the iPhone into an electronic key for a vehicle, similar to current keyless unlocking and starting systems employed today. By bringing the iPhone close to an NFC point, it could feasibly allow a car to start and to be driven, while also offering the option of sharing a version of the key to others with certain permissions disabled, such as enabling a car to be unlocked but not driven. In a patent application titled “System access using a mobile device” published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, Apple seems to be planning a much wider use of the concept than in just vehicles. The abstract for the filing mentions it would be used to authenticate a mobile device for access to system functionality, including “physical access to a system, starting an engine.”

Check It Out: ‘Carkey’ API May Control Homekit Smart Lock

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