BMW i8 key could reinvent the car key fob

The BMW i8 is a car that is steeped in technology and futuristic gizmos, but things do not stop with the automobile itself - even its humble key reinvents the way we look at car access and monitoring.

The BMW i8 is the plug-in hybrid sports version of its all electric i3 due out in 2014. And while the car itself looks like something from a sci-fi movie, the screen-sporting key manages to follow suit.

READ: BMW i8: BMW's £100k plug-in hybrid sports car

According to Bimmerfile, who was shared the image after receiving it from a BMW insider, the key will include its own high-resolution LCD screen. This will be able to display important information like charge levels, time on a charge and distance the car can travel before needed another recharge.

Based on the photo it should also display the time, fob battery level and be touch controlled. We presume it will charge when plugged into the car, meaning you never need to worry about giving it more juice. We’d also presume it uses low-power Bluetooth to connect with the car when close and then to your phone when out of range. Your phone could be connected to the car via its wireless network. Of course the fob may be connected directly through a wireless network too but we’d imagine this would chew up too much battery.

The BMW i8 hybrid electric car will also offer customisable buttons that trigger certain actions. After hearing from fellow journalists that the Tesla Model S touchscreen controls are a bit awkward when driving, it’s nice to see BMW has found a happy medium between easy-access buttons and personalisation.

The concept key has not been confirmed by BMW but the i8 is expected to go on sale in 2014 for around £100,000.