Use Your iPhone to Start Your Car

iPhone SmartStartThe Apple iPhone, by design, is meant to be an all-in-one device, but who would have guessed it would be capable of doing some of the things it can? A few months ago we reviewed Rev for iPhone, which allows you to measure and graph many in-car statistics and analytics in real time, among many other features.

Viper Security has just announced a new iPhone app that allows you to start, lock, unlock, pop the trunk, arm security, or even find your car in a parking lot from anywhere you and your car have cell phone signal.

The system is called “Viper SmartStart,” and uses a downloadable app from the iTunes App Store to connect with the SmartStart system installed in your car. The system isn’t cheap, however. If you already have a remote start installed in your car, you can save some cash and just get the SmartStart module, which runs $299. If not, expect to fork over $499 for the whole system, which does not include installation at Best Buy, or the $30/year service charge (first year is free.)

This is a unique system, and might have some unexpected benefits. Standard key fobs have a very limited range, and the Viper SmartStart system’s range is virtually unlimited, as long as you have cell phone coverage. For example, let’s say you’re at the grocery store and lock your keys in your car. You could simply unlock the car with your iPhone, or even have your spouse at home unlock the car for you. Another benefit is that you’re able to start your car and warm it up in the winter from anywhere. If you’re in the office, for example, start the car while you’re at your desk so it’s warm when you get to it. An interesting and useful system, though a bit pricey.