Ford was recently granted a patent for a new kind of smartphone case design that boasts integrated electronics to have one's phone double as a vehicle key fob.
As outlined in the details of the patent, the device is meant to be able to communicate with the smartphone via Bluetooth or NFC technology, providing access to a virtual key fob on the screen of a smartphone. With this phone case, drivers would be able to lock and unlock their vehicle, as well as perform other actions, such as opening the trunk. Ford also details that the phone case could be activated automatically with a driver being in a certain proximity to their vehicle.
The introduction of this multipurpose phone case has the potential to help consumers carry—or lose—fewer items.