Start your car and turn on your heater with the iPhone

The iPhone has become everyone’s slave. It’s starting to do tasks we don’t want to do ourselves. A case in point is the Viper SmartStart app, which starts your car and warms up the cabin.

The app lets you start your car, turn on the heater, lock or unlock your door, arm your security system, turn on your air conditioning or defrost your windows from afar. It’s aimed at users in cold or hot weather climates. You can also make the car beep when you’re trying to find it in a parking lot. But of course, this means we’re going to see a lot of cars out there with engines idling because their owners forgot they turned on their motors.

The Viper SmartStart comes from Directed Electronics, a Vista, Calif.-based company that probably invented this app so its people could turn on their air conditioners from far away. Car owners can already activate their cars using key fobs for the latest cars, but those have limited range. Viper SmartStart, on the other hand, has virtually unlimited range. That’s pretty useful if your spouse gets locked out of the car.

The Viper SmartStart system sells for $499. For those who already have a Viper SmartStart system with a keyfob, the module costs $299. The Viper SmartStart will be available at Best Buy stores starting today. There is similar technology on the market. Zipcar launched an app this summer where you could a lot of the same things with Zipcars, which you can rent for a short day trip and drop off at various locations as needed.

Directed Electronics was founded in 1982 and is a subsidiary of DEI Holdings.

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