By on October 23, 2012

Chinese upstart carmaker BYD isn’t as lucky as it used to be. Its sales and stock price are deep in the Chinese squat toilet. However, it is outdoing itself in the gadget dept. BYD,  the company that brought us the remote controlled car, now brings us the watch that opens your car’s doors and starts it. Call it keyless entry that goes with the times.

According to Chinacartimes, the new BYD watch is a keyfob molded into a quartz watch. The car owner only needs to wear the watch in the proximity of the car to gain access to the car and to turn on the engine. The technology is proprietary to BYD. The company has already applied for 36 patents in China, of which 9 have been granted. It has applied for 21 patents abroad.

Message to Aston Martin: Monitor those patent applications. In 2008, Aston Martin and Swiss watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre teamed up for a watch that also unlocked the $260,000 Aston martin DBS. Four years ago, that watch wasn’t smart enough to also start the car (a key was needed for that), but progress can’t be stopped.

(Now what am I supposed to do with the valet parking guy? Give him my watch?)

(Come to think of it, I have long stopped wearing a watch.)

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8 Comments on “Been There, Done That: BYD Introduces Watch That Starts The Car...”


  • avatar
    Type57SC

    That’s pretty cool. It seems more convenient than a chunky fob. It ma be tough to sell in mass quantities unless there’s a whole lot of selection of watches. It also seem old-person focused since I see a lot of people using their cell phone as a time device now and a watch just as jewelery.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      I’m 27 and have never understood people that rely on their cell phones as a timepiece.

      Wristwatches replaced pocket watches in the 20th century for a reason – when you need the time, it’s a lot easier to just glance down at your wrist than to fish around in your pocket. Switching back to a pocket device is such a retrograde step – plus, cell phones have batteries that run out, watches stay wound as long as you move your arm around once in a while.

      • 0 avatar
        potatobreath

        By checking my phone, I am also informed of text messages, voicemails, missed calls, e-mails and other notifications that I may have received.

        I don’t always remember to wear my watch, but I am likely to have my phone on me.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    OK, that could get annoying. My car complains with a loud repeating beep if I leave the fob in my pocket and get out of it while it’s running. This is usually to brush snow off of the car, or to scrape the windshield. I can’t imagine having to take my watch off every time I need to do this. If they had a normal fob as a backup, then it might be useful.

  • avatar
    red60r

    I’ve never been able to understand the “need” for remote start. In Denver, leaving an unattended car idling to warm up, called “puffing”, will get you a ticket. In cold weather, most cars are warmed up pretty quickly by driving a couple of blocks (except for our long-gone ’97 Saturn, which could go through a full tank of fuel without warming the cabin noticeably. Service Department swore it was up to spec). Just because a feature is possible doesn’t make it necessary, e. g., a big touch screen to take your eyes off the road to adjust the radio.

  • avatar
    BigMeats

    “a big touch screen to take your eyes off the road to adjust the radio.”

    Amen…. beltlines ever higher, windows ever smaller, RVM and fat A-pillars right in our lines-of-sight, and now ever larger touchscreens to distract us.

    Autonomous cars better hurry up and get here.

  • avatar

    I’ve never thought that BYD was in the “smart” crowd, but surely even they know better than to replace the conventional key fob with this. It is likely only supplemental, an add-on that can be had at the dealership. And owners will probably still get the key fob, and they’ll probably at least offer masculine and feminine styles.

    The person who mentioned mobile phones as the new omni-tool was correct, which is why the GM OnStar app was a good idea. But this watch thing is a novelty, and nothing more…

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    There’s something cool about a keyfob watch. Yes, it can be impractical at times, but in a weird way, that’s what makes it cool. As other posters have mentioned, it’s incomplete. The manufacturer would need to supply a spare key fob… or at the very least a valet watch!

    And for those who don’t wear a watch? Well, just keep the watch in your pocket and it’ll be no different than having a remote key fob in your pocket. Or, perhaps BYD can make a nice pocket watch edition and include a monocle.


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