GM’s smart Key Fob turns your vehicle into a Tamagotchi pet


Gm_key_fobI might consider this a "solution in search of a problem", but I know your comments will set me straight if you disagree. GM will be offering a $150 smart Key Fob with various SUVs next year; on the surface it sounds interesting, but I’m questioning the need. With the fob, you can check your vehicle’s fuel level, tire pressure, odometer reading; heck you can even change the radio station. Again, on the surface it sounds interesting.

Then I start thinking of usage scenarios for the fob. Right off the bat, drivers will likely keep the fob with their keys and in most cases, those keys will be in the vehicle. If I need check the status of anything, it’s all right there in the vehicle except for the tire pressure: that’s when I get a pressure gauge out of the glovebox and send the kids out to the four corners of the car. What…it’s not like I don’t taxi them around for free, you know!

Yes, there are a few instances where I might want to check how much gas is in the car when it’s cold outside. Other than that, or magically changing the radio station on unsuspecting passengers from inside my house, I’m not sure $150 justifies the "smart" key fob. What do you think: smart or not?



I agree $150 is a decent price, we’re not talking about the FOB itself but the “function” for the car. Don’t look on the electronics of the FOB when considering the price because having this function will also need to upgrade other electronics inside the car and inside the tire. So maybe $150 for the FOB plus the upgrade on your car $$$$$.

David Carreiro

Well, My freind has a LCD fob for his remote starter, and just knowing that you pressed the keystoke to start your car, and knowing that your car started, is the biggest feature of all.

Perry Harris

Well considering how simple the security is on most keyfobs, I’d worry about the hacking issues. How would you like to be driving down the road only to have the kid in the car behind you changing your radio settings. If they continue down this route, what else will a skilled hacker, or a script kiddie using the script from a skilled hacker be able to change?


Well, I don’t have any kids so I would get it to check the tire pressures. ;-)
But I think it would be useful, as was mentioned, if you need/want to check the fuel from outside the car or any of the other vehicle vitals. It would also be kind of handy if it also taps into the climate control and can tell you the temp inside the car, especially if you use a remote starter. Considering most SUVS start around $30K new, $150 for this gadget don’t seem so bad. Actually for a tranmitter, tied to your vehicles computer, and a fob receiver, this seems like a decent price, especially coming from an OEM car manufacturer.

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