Just when we got a nice set of hooks put up in the kitchen for our keys, I find out that the metal car key is becoming an increasingly rare article. A lot of new vehicles are employing key fobs in conjunction with start buttons instead of keys, and the next evolution appears to be linking the car to a smartphone - in effect, a "digital key".
Digital keys have a number of potential advantages. They can be operated remotely, and you don't have to physically have the key, just a smartphone with the right app.
Automakers aren't the only ones considering the smartphone option. A small Toronto start-up, Keyfree Technologies, introduced a system that owners can retrofit into their vehicles. The system is smart enough to automatically open a vehicle's doors when someone with the Keyfree smartphone app and approved digital signature walks by.