Samsung announced digital car key for Galaxy smartphones

Oct 1, 2021, 10:26 PM UTC
2 mins read
Samsung announced digital car key for Galaxy smartphones
Image | Samsung

South Korea-based company Samsung today announced the digital car key for Galaxy smartphones and works with new luxury EV, and Genesis GV60.

Samsung Digital Key uses NFC and ultra-wideband technology where car owners can lock and unlock their car securely with their Galaxy smartphones, and they also share their digital car key with friends and family securely (requires Samsung Pass app to share digital key to someone), just as the Apple CarKeys which was unveiled last year at WWDC 2020 keynote during iOS 14 announcement.

Samsung’s digital key is powered by advanced UWB technology, a short-range wireless communication protocol similar to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi that uses radio waves to work. UWB, on the other hand, uses a significantly higher frequency of radio waves to enable more accurate spatial awareness and directional capabilities, allowing mobile devices to better understand their environment.

Because UWB allows passive access, you can stop searching through your pockets and luggage for your keys. You’ll be able to use your smartphone to lock and unlock your car, start the engine, open the trunk, and even activate customizable settings like altering your seat and mirror position before getting in the car—all without pressing a button.

If you gave your car to a friend or family member for a short amount of time, you can quickly share the digital key with them and even put a time limit on how long they can use it.

In terms of privacy, it features Samsung’s embedded Secure Element (eSE), which is intended to secure your most sensitive data and encryption keys, ensuring that your keys never fall into the wrong hands.

UWB technology’s precision makes it vulnerable to relay attacks, in which the radio signal is jammed or intercepted. Samsung’s digital key complies fully with the digital key standard established by the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), of which Samsung is a founding member.

Samsung’s digital key was first released for the Galaxy S21 earlier this year, and the company later announced that it will be expanding the digital car key to more Galaxy smartphones. By the end of this year, the digital car key will only work in Korea and Galaxy S21+ and Ultra, Note20 Ultra, and Z Fold 2 and 3 are all compatible with the UWB digital key.

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