Viper SmartStart — use your iPhone to unlock, start your car

I love seeing these new sorts of gadgets. And it always makes me wonder, What will they think of next? In this case you can use your iPhone to unlock or lock your car doors, start your car, open your trunk, or press the panic button — all from your iPhone, and all from wherever you are using the Viper SmartStart app. Say you're in a movie theater and realize you forgot to lock your car. Press a button on your iPhone, and it's done. It has virtually unlimited range, and you can control multiple cars from your iPhone. The press release gives another example: say you're out jogging and you want to leave your keys and everything else locked safely in your car. You just take your iPhone with you. Or if a forgetful family member loses his or her keys, you can unlock and start the car remotely. But it's not cheap. The app is free but a remote start system for your car runs $499. If you already have a remote start system in your vehicle, then you can add iPhone capability for $299. Plus, there's an annual service fee of $29, though the first year of service comes free with your purchase of the device. Read more on the Viper website.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.