Been There, Done That: BYD Introduces Watch That Starts The Car

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
been there done that byd introduces watch that starts the car

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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4 of 8 comments
  • Red60r Red60r on Oct 23, 2012

    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.

  • BigMeats BigMeats on Oct 23, 2012

    "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.

  • Kyree Kyree on Oct 23, 2012

    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...

  • WheelMcCoy WheelMcCoy on Oct 23, 2012

    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.