Automotive technology and components supplier Denso recently announced it has acquired a phone-as-a-key tech company as it pushes to move physical items to the digital world.
The acquisition of InfiniteKey, along with its research and development resources and the company’s patents, is a move towards developing smartphone technology that allows users to use their mobile device as a key to their vehicle. Denso believes this technology will become important to automakers as ridesharing and driverless vehicle developments will push for a need of making keys available. Ditching physical keys helps, said Bill Foy, senior vice president of engineering at Denso International America.
“When we consider the future of mobility, the customer experience is always at the forefront of our design. Eliminating the need for physical keys will create a headache-free experience for car owners, and ridesharing and driverless services users,” he said. “This acquisition brings us one step closer to making this experience a reality and advancing vehicle access technologies.”
InfiniteKey has developed technology to microlocate smartphones relative to vehicles using standard Bluetooth low energy, or BLE. Similar to how key fobs are commonly used today, the goal is that a smartphone can act in the same way, except it can enable a broad range of services, such as ridesharing.
“Becoming part of DENSO, with its global reach and world-class engineering, means our phone-as-a-key technology can reach the broadest possible penetration in the automotive market,” said Kevin Virta, CEO of InfiniteKey. “We are looking forward to making significant contributions to DENSO’s efforts to lead the way in automotive technologies of the future.”