The only thing that BMW has officially said about the key fob for the upcoming i8 is that it's made with eco-friendly materials. Like a biopolymer made with castor bean oil and glass fiber. But, according to a leaked picture on Bimmerfile, there will be something a lot cooler built into the thing you'll always have with you when you drive the i8: a connected screen telling you charging status of the car and the range in the battery pack.

We'd like to think the tiny smartphone-like fob will be able to do more than that, and the Apple-like dots at the bottom of the image imply that it will. We're fine if it doesn't play Angry Birds, but we'll be sad if this is just a clever manipulated image. Bimmerfile says the high-resolution LCD screen key will also be able to turn the i8's pre-conditioning on and off. We do know that all of the keys for the i3 and the i8 that we've held and seen in the wild look nothing like this, but we're hoping to be pleasantly surprised. After all, BMW is pouring a lot of cool new tech into the Project i vehicles, including the ability to plan walking and public transportation routes from the car's navigation system in the i3 and optional energy-saving LED laser headlights in the i8, as described in the video below.



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 43 Comments
      JonnyB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hopefully that thing is rechargeable because it looks like it'll go through lots of batteries, ...and knowing BMW Service, they'll probably charge $500 for battery changes.
        Victor Au
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JonnyB
        BMW keyfobs (dating back to early 2000's) recharge when they are in the ignition. So I wouldn't doubt that they'll continue to do this with their newest cars.
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Victor Au
          except no one puts keys in the ignition anymore.. comfort access has been around for years (bluetooth type key)
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cool stuff, but knowing BMW it will fail after 4 years and cost $5000 to replace.
        Nemebean
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Four years? Try the day after your warranty runs out. ;-)
          DaMan
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Nemebean
          The BMW warranty runs for 4 years, that's what he mean doorknob!!
        Hernan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Also, pity the fool who gets this as a collector's car... Can you imagine this still working in 20 or more years?
      EZEE2
      • 1 Year Ago
      I couldn't get past the title. I've got a surprise in my hands! :D
        Grendal
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE2
        You're always touching it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWWfPxqWwZI
      Cayman
      • 1 Year Ago
      I haven't lost one, but I did break two of them and to have them replaced which wasn't cheap. But yes, I imagine people still do lose car keys. Leave them at a table when out to dinner, fall out of pocket of a jacket, leave them on a bar, etc. Really, people do lose things.
      Carac
      • 1 Year Ago
      In it's cradle http://res.cloudinary.com/gawker-media/image/fetch/t_ku-xlarge/http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/199s7mor1ozb8jpg/original.jpg They're keeping a TIGHT lip on everything i8 related. Recent scuttlebutt is that the recent 1-2 month delay (US-only) was that they were in the final stages of getting laser headlights approved in the US and wanted them to debut on the i8, being able to say they were first in the US to offer them.
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Interesting tech, but what about the other bits of information? How long do they last? How much do they cost to replace? I am all for advancements in technology, but if it is at a price premium, it loses some of its allure.
        j
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        Someone paying $138,000.00 for the base model i8 will get to see fobs during the test drive - and it's fairly certain that they understand fully well that premium prices are involved.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ryan
        The person who is gonna dump >100 grand on an i8 rarely asks these kinds of questions..
          Hernan
          • 6 Months Ago
          @2 wheeled menace
          Rich =/= stupid.
      Naturenut99
      • 1 Year Ago
      At the top it also shows a lock. So easy assumption, is that it can show you if it is locked or not. That would be a HUGE plus to me.
      Jmaister
      • 1 Year Ago
      anything that's made and not handcrafted is not eco friendly. anything that has a mold, requires heat, is not eco friendly, stop fooling yourselves.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jmaister
        This is a joke, right?
        Phoneboy101
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jmaister
        My thought was: who cares about the greeness of a FOB weighing a few ounces when it's sold with a car which weighs thousands of pounds and spews thousands of tons of carbon into the atmosphere? Strange priorities.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jmaister
        Every bit helps and is better than not doing it. BMW put catalytic convertors in their motorcycles all the way back in the 80's. It was not required by law back then (for motorcycles) and it was not a sought-after feature by buyers. That's just one small example and there are many others.
        HollywoodF1
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jmaister
        You have made a subjective concept objective by crowning yourself as the decider of where to draw the line known as "eco-friendly." On that pompous presumption, you are wrong. On another-- a hand-made item is inherently energy-consumptive through the efficiencies lost by alienating mass-production. That human has a ticking carbon footprint every moment he exists. You must account for all factors when comparing things such as these.
      Neoracer Fotographee
      IMPOSSIBIRUUUUUU
      Hernan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Nice! Although I wonder how this will look in 5 years... To put it into perspective, 5 years ago, the iphone 3Gs was released,
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      So now you won't be able to get into your car because the screen on it drained the battery of the FOB. Fail.
        Ducman69
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Ducman69
        Although it is actually a pretty clever idea, because with keyless ignition systems and the like people want to frequently look at their keyfob for updates, because they don't carry other devices on them with nicer screens like on their smartphone. Sarcasm; am I doing it right?
          Carac
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ducman69
          I'm sure a multi-billion dollar company hasn't considered that and given the physical lock/unlock/start functions a CR3032 battery like nearly every other keyless entry fob on the market leaving the "fluff" functions to an induction charged (via the cradle in the picture I posted above) separate battery. Am I doing it right?
          Ducman69
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ducman69
          Good point Carac, because most car owners don't have two FOBS and may not use the second one with memory for an occasional driver often. I can't sarcasm any harder than this. *strains*
      karlInSanDiego
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cayman. That's natural selection. Any person with an I8 who is dumb enough to place his key on the table when out to dinner or bar is proving he doesn't have the survival skills to keep it long. That or he's showing off. Either way, it's a piss poor way to lose them and a great way to have them stolen or have someone follow you out to the lot to steal your $100,000 car. I think that keyfob (and every futuristic one) should include a breathalyzer, a pupil assessment camera for weed test, and whatever device they can invent to test you for coke.
    • Load More Comments