• Oct 13, 2009

Click above to watch videos after the jump

As the iPhone continues to introduce apps both silly and indispensable, it should come as no surprise that there's now an app for starting your car remotely. Introduced by car alarm company Viper, the SmartStart app comes in two flavors: a $299 package if you already have a compatible Viper alarm system or a $499 deal for a stand alone unit that comes with everything you need to start operating your car with Apple's Jesus phone. In addition to remote start, the SmartStart app can also lock and unlock your car, open the trunk and sound your panic alarm.

Previously we've seen the ZipCar app for the iPhone tout lock/unlocking capabilities, but this is the first time an app has enabled your iPhone to actually turn on a car. What's next? Well, we're going to start holding our breath for an app that's lets us drive our cars using the iPhone, just like James Bond did with his 7 Series in Tomorrow Never Dies. Big breath, big breath...

Follow the jump for a video of how the system works and what it can do.

[Source: Viper, Engadget]




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      Davey Hiltz
      • 2 Months Ago

      Now that's nifty. Would there be security implications involved with this if someone could maybe hack the account? I know Viper would probably be top notch security, but I had a friend tell me his account was hacked for his home access. Just want to be sure I can have a secure product before I make an investment in it. I really like the idea. http://www.teamhifi.com/?page_id=75

      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the ZR1 in the demo.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ....Apple's Jesus phone!!??
      • 5 Years Ago
      $299 for this vs. a FREE FOB? (no, not an immigrant!)
        • 5 Years Ago
        zing! nice one!
        • 5 Years Ago
        the perfect gift for the guy (or gal) who owns a $45K Lancer
      • 5 Years Ago
      For as much as this costs, I'd expect it to be able to do more than just unlock the car or do a remote start. Unless you can use it to turn your lights on/off, set the A/C or heater/defrost, I'd rather stick with the $5 fob on my keychain.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chance are, if you wanted your AC/Heat on, it was on the last time you excited the car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hello,
      Yesterday i unlocked my 3gs iphone and i was wondering if that is safe to do ? The iphone is unlocked but is it safe to use ? I used http://www.unlock-iphone.org . It worked fine ,now i can use any sim card from any network and i can download hundrets of top iphone aplications for free but please tell me if is safe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Shut the lady up! Can't hear the ZR1 engine.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just wait until someone hacks the webapp, or Viper stops caring about their servers and customer information leaks, and a hacker unlocks everyone's cars all at once.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, I think it can be a serious security problem.

        FOBs are more secure IMHO.

        Even if this does not allow to remove the wheel locking or open the door, what would prevent somenone to start your car and let it run out of fuel...?
        • 5 Years Ago
        A hacker unlocking all cars at once? Scary, but super awesome.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, say hello to "Gone in Less Than 60 Seconds: Nicholas Cage is Back, But Only Briefly!"

        (weird, the less than sign truncates messages)
        • 5 Years Ago
        omguberbbqhax!
      • 5 Years Ago
      What if you are on vacation and you accidentally turn the car on, how do you shut it off?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Remotes starters do NOT unlock the car (or the steering wheel, for that matter). Because there's no key in the ignition, the steering wheel can't unlock and the car cannot be shifted out of Park. If it's a manual, and a thief breaks in while the car is running on remote start, the engine will shut down when the clutch is depressed.

        They typically only leave the car running for a preset time, too.

        • 5 Years Ago
        You know, that's a legitimate concern. I wonder how they address that. I remote start from a fob always has to be in range...I would assume this has no range issues.

        For example, I can monitor my garage door from my iPhone, but while it's technically possible (in fact easy) to also control it, I find that to be unsafe without being able to see it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Its called the gas running out. lol
        Most of these things time out after like 10 or 12 minutes anyway.
        • 5 Years Ago
        My concern wasn't about breaking into it. If I'm away for 1 week and it accidentally remote starts, is it going to sit and idle for 7 days? I don't see a shut down button on it.

        Also, this remote start seems to unlock doors since the picture does show a door unlock button.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If this is a direct network (cell band, WiFi node to node, Bluetooth...) connection between the car unit and the phone itself, then that is OK.

      If this is "in the cloud", and across the internet... not so much, and has been mentioned, proximity would have no bearing... and unintended things could happen when you are far away from your car, or would be intercept-able, and hijack-able.

      Other than that. it is a cool bit of tech. On a new car with dual-clutch gearbox (I don't want a hydraulic automatic, if I can at all help it... and a manual gearbox doesn't lend to remote start), and push-button keyless start... that could be very cool, assuming that keyless start has the same anti-theft behavior as an ignition key, if the car is attempted to be driven away without the RFID electronic 'key' within the interior space of the car.

      Then, if the app could somehow be keyed in to the wipers, auto climate controls, and window roll-up features... I would feel less apprehensive about leaving my windows cracked open, or the sunroof vented, for the possibility of rain.... but then on a hot day, I could start the AC before I get to the car... or the car could auto-sense rain activity, and close the glass... all sorts of automation and information possibilities.
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