Unlock and start your car with your iPhone; stay warm all winter long with Viper SmartStart

Directed Electronics, the leader in vehicle security and remote start, has introduced the Viper SmartStart, which allows users to start their car with the push of a button from their iPhone or iPod touch.

Users simply download the free Viper SmartStart app from Apple’s iTunes App Store, have Viper SmartStart professionally installed on their vehicle, and then activate their account to start experiencing the year-round comfort and convenience of Viper SmartStart.

Particularly popular in cold weather climates, remote start allows users to start their vehicle by remote control to defrost the windows and pre-warm the cabin, so they get into a warm car that’s ready to drive. Remote start can also be used to pre-cool the vehicle in hot weather by activating the air conditioning.

Most remote start systems use a small remote control on the user’s keychain to activate remote start, but these “keyfobs” typically have limited range. Viper SmartStart has virtually unlimited range. If the iPhone and the vehicle have signal, then Viper SmartStart starts the car with the press of a button.

Viper SmartStart has many other capabilities beyond remote start as well. Depending on the installation, users can also lock and unlock the doors, pop the trunk, find their car in a parking lot, or arm their security system. Users can even control multiple cars from one iPhone.

“The growth and popularity of the iPhone has opened the door for a whole new category of products in our business,” said Kevin Duffy, President of Directed Electronics, in the press release. “Our customers have consistently told us that the two most important features in a remote starter are range and user interface. We developed the Viper SmartStart in response; range is virtually unlimited, and iPhone owners can use the elegant touch-screen interface they already carry in their pocket.”

“We think customers will find all sorts of unique and personal value in Viper SmartStart,” said Mike Simmons, EVP of Directed Electronics’ parent company, DEI Holdings, in the press release. “Whether helping out her husband who’s locked his keys in the car, or securely locking her keys and purse in the car while she takes a jog with some music on her iPhone, we expect to hear about some uses we never anticipated.”

Two Viper SmartStart models are available. Users who don’t have remote start can purchase the Viper SmartStart System (MSRP: US$499) while those who already have a compatible Viper system can purchase just the Viper SmartStart Module (MSRP: $299). Viper SmartStart will be available at Best Buy stores starting October 13.

More info: www.viper.com/smartstart

More info about the free Viper SmartStart app via Apple’s iTunes App Store here.

Source: Directed Electronics

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “iSteve” for the heads up.]


  1. I believe this is what ZipCar is using. The system maintains wireless link with the back-end server and most standard functions can can be controlled remotely. Your iPhone can unlock the ZipCar, open its trunk, sound the horn (if you can’t find the car in the lot/garage), in addition to reserving the car and looking up the location on the map.

    For a car rental company, this can be a business advantage. For an individual, a bit of a pricey convenience.

  2. Sabrina writes, “Ahhhh, not for use in enclosed garages?”

    When I lived in Montreal years ago, two automotive winter accessories were the electric dipstick and the engine blanket. The dipstick had a heater element to help keep the oil warm; the blanket was intended to keep the whole engine warm. (Keep in mind this was in energy rich Canada before the first oil shock and before the appearance of synthetic oils.)

  3. Are people really that wimpy about sitting in a cold car? I always figured the actual market for remote start technology was people who have reason to worry about a bomb in their car.


  4. If you have a half way decent car then you shouldn’t need a remote start. I have an 05 acura and I just hop in and start it up and turn up the heat in the car and my seat and im pretty toasty within minutes. Now my old crappy 95 blazer… that didn’t heat up so well but it was also 14 years old… I did get excited though over this. If it had no yearly subscription it would be cool to be able to heat or cool the car by iphone and start it up or shut it down and lock doors and such. especially when I go to the gym I wouldn’t need to bring my keys in with me. What they could really do is give the ability to connect iphone to your stereo.. now that would be pretty sweet though I know you can do it through bluetooth and many of the hundred other things out there to connect.. but if it can already do this stuff… why not just add the radio function in too, especially for the price. But $500 now… it will certainly drop near christmas or after they notice its sales not doing as well as hoped.

  5. Obviously, some commenters here have never lived in areas where the advantage of pre-starting your car means you only have to scrape the outside of the windows. Instead of both the inside and the outside as would have to be done if you hadn’t pre-heated the cabin.

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