Lost car keys may become a problem of the past with the launch of a new mobile phone in Japan which can unlock car doors and ignite the engine without the need for a key.
The new mobile phone, developed by Sharp Corp, is fitted with technology that allows users to enter and start the engine of a car without using conventional keys.
advertisementCars are fitted with a system known as Intelligent Key technology that is able to recognise when the owner is in the vicinity before automatically opening the doors.
The recognition technology in the car system was initially developed by Nissan Motor Co, which launched smart keys for opening car doors six years ago and has since shipped around one million cars in Japan.
However, this is the first time that the keyless technology has been built into mobile phone devices, according to the two companies, who will be unveiling it at a conference in Tokyo next week.
The recognition service in mobile phones will be widely available in Japan following a collaboration with NTT DoCoMo Inc, the countrys largest mobile operator, from as early as March next year.
Japan, home to the largest mobile phone market in the world, has long been a pioneer in creating cutting edge mobile phone technology.
Paying by credit card, reading a novel, using the subway, watching digital television and using GPS are among a raft of features that are commonly found on Japanese mobile phones.
Testimony to Japans status as a leader in cutting edge phone technology were recent reports that, unlike most other countries around the world, the new Apple iPhone was not selling as well as anticipated.
The apparent lack of enthusiasm for the device in Japan was attributed to the fact that it does not contain many of the most popular features found on Japanese phones, such as digital television and clip art for emails.
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