Smartphones are much more than just phones these days, and as companies continue to come up with ideas to make them even more broad in their use cases, the mobile devices will become even more important to have on us at all times.Calling for roadside assistance usually means the use of a smartphone to get in touch with someone that can provide any help that might be needed. Of course, simply calling someone to get help is practically archaic at this point, so it should come as no surprise that Apple is at least toying with the idea that an iPhone should be used as a tool to actively help a driver get on their way.
According to a recently issued patent, Apple has at least considered using a mobile device –the iPhone– as a tool to directly gain access to a locked vehicle, by using a short-range wireless connection like Bluetooth and a specific access code that could be entered on the device to unlock the vehicle. The patent outlines that this code would be handled by another wirelessly-connected device, like another smartphone, that would work as a means to unlock the car.
While another smartphone could make sense in some instances, another idea could be using the upcoming Apple Watch as that other device to act as a means of access.
This is not all that out of the question, considering that the developers behind the Tesla Apple Watch app have already showcased how their app can lock and unlock an owner’s Tesla. Of course, the app is limited in its functionality insofar that it only works with one make and model, while Apple’s patent could make the functionality far more broad.
As noted by Re/code, a driver locking their keys out of their car is a pretty common occurrence, as AAA (a major roadside assistance name) recorded upwards of 4 million motorists that made calls to the organization to help them out in 2012.