Today, Directed Electronics released an iPhone app that replaces your keys and allows you to remote start your car with an iPhone or iPod Touch. The app is called Viper SmartStart, and expounds on the recently released app from Zipcar. Zipcar's app allows Zipcar vehicle renters to lock and unlock their borrowed car doors. Viper SmartStart does much more than just lock and unlock the doors, and it is programmed to work with your car, not just a Zipcar rental. The app is free, but it requires the Viper SmartStart system to be installed in your car and that will run you about $500 bucks, $300 if you have a Viper remote start system pre-installed. The system comes with one year of service, which is normally thirty bucks a year.
The app replaces the need for a keychain and allows you to open the trunk, lock and unlock your doors, set off the alarm, and best of all: start the engine. From anywhere your iPhone has signal, you can turn on your vehicle with a simple tap on your touch screen. With Wi-Fi, you can use your iPod Touch to control your car. The app can control multiple cars and tracks your activity with alerts. The timing of this app couldn't be better. As winter approaches, warming up the car from bed should be a wonderful luxury. You can see a demo of the new app here.