The integration of cars and smartwatches hasn't hit the mainstream, and for good reason. Most are clunky, the app selections are limited, adoption rates are low, and most automakers still haven't decided if its worth their time. Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks the Apple Watch could change that.

With the Watch hype hitting a fever pitch ahead of next month's event, Cook went on a European tour, including an interview with the Telegraph where he explained:

There will be lots of other potentially revolutionary uses. The watch is designed to be able to replace car keys and the clumsy, large fobs that are now used by many vehicles, Cook told The Telegraph. This could be a major development and will reinforce the view that Apple is circling the automotive market.

Since the Watch tethers to iPhones over Bluetooth, automakers that already have an app that handles common key fob tasks like locking and unlocking doors, adjusting climate controls, and flashing the lights are halfway to bringing a companion app for the Watch.

We've already seen similar setups from Audi, BMW, Hyundai, and Mercedes, either using Android Wear or the Pebble smartwatch.

But the Apple Watch has the potential to thrust the concept into the public consciousness, even though completely ditching the physical key is still years away from being anywhere near the norm.


Contact the author at damon@jalopnik.com.
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