The BMW 7 Series has this feature called the BMW Display Key. The i8 was actually the first car that offered the BMW Display Key but it’s safe to assume that the 7 Series will put more of these fancy keys on the tables of hotel cafes while the owner enjoys afternoon tea than an i8 would.
The key is a US$250 option in the USA, but it is such a huge conversation piece that we won’t be surprised if markets that don’t offer customisation (like ours, for example) will just make it standard for the 7 Series variants they have on sale.
It’s larger than a regular BMW key fob so it’ll take up more space in your pocket. There’s a touch screen display which you will need to swipe upwards to unlock. From then on you have access to various controls.
You can turn on the parking lights, side lights, open and close the windows, and schedule the climate control system to turn on so that when you enter the car it’s nice and cooling. An option is the Remote Control Parking feature which adds another button on the side of the key fob.
Naturally with all these features the BMW Display Key will consume significantly more battery than a regular key fob. It’s powered by a lithium ion battery and can either be charged using a Micro USB port or a Qi wireless charger. The 7 Series has a Qi wireless charger in the armrest storage area so you can charge it in the car, or you can also use any Qi wireless charger to charge it – there’s no vendor lock in here although BMW does plan to sell its own home Qi charger later.
We recorded a video of a BMW representative demonstrating the BMW Display Key’s features to us at the international press drive event earlier this week. Watch the video for a walkthrough of all the features.