LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8, 2019—Mobile-access innovator Tapkey has teamed up with  legendary mobile device-maker Garmin to showcase a wholly new application of  technology: The ability to unlock a car via a smartwatch. The new tech pairing was unveiled at the CES tech expo in Las Vegas.  

Bringing together a Garmin smartwatch and Tapkey technology, the two companies  provided a live demonstration which showed how Garmin’s wearables could be infused  with Tapkey functionality to access, and unlock, the door hardware in a Volvo XC90, all via  Bluetooth.  

“We are proud to partner with such a world-class leader as Garmin for this demonstration,”  said Tapkey CEO Gilbert Hoedl. “It’s a natural combination of their hardware and our  software.”  

Speaking about the automotive industry, Matt Munn, Managing Director at Garmin  Automotive OEM, said “We are hearing from a number of OEMs interested in new mobile  access solutions. OEMs see the opportunities to differentiate by offering their customers  greater convenience and flexibility with these wearable devices.”  

“The smartwatch is an ideal device for unlocking your car, simply because you wear it all the  time,” said Jochen Schurich, Tapkey Co-Founder and Senior Business Development Lead.  “It’s easy, practical, and safe. Plus, Garmin smartwatches boast a battery life of about two  weeks.” 

Based on an open platform that is easy to integrate, Tapkey enables app developers, service  providers and lock manufacturers to add smartphone-based access to their product  portfolio, quickly, easily and cost effectively. Tapkey’s access software is complemented by a  wide range of compatible hardware products for the automotive and logistics industry as  well as property management.  

“Given the rapid evolution of new concepts in private, shared and public transportation, the  availability of smart-access solutions is growing in importance,” said Hoedl. “This affects  automotive OEMs, suppliers and end customers—as well as cross-industry providers and  partners. We’re proud that the Tapkey platform empowers players such as service  providers, app developers and lock manufacturers to easily integrate mobile access into their  products and services. It’s a great way for them to unlock, both literally and figuratively, new  markets.“  

“With this showcase of Tapkey, Garmin and our wearable-unlocking Volvo, we’re entering a  new age of mobile access,” said Schurich. “This showcase also demonstrates the potential  of digital access solutions for sharing and delivery services across the growing mobility  infrastructure which includes charging, parking, public transport and other digital services in  the smart cities of the very near future.“

How it works

The Garmin smartwatch uses Tapkey software to send an unlocking signal to the car.  Inside the car, the verified signal is sent to the door-control hardware.   The door is unlocked. 

Graphic Garmin-Volvo

The growing Tapkey ecosystem  Technology Stack

About Garmin

Garmin has been developing mobile products for pilots, sailors, motorists, golfers, runners,  cyclists, mountaineers, swimmers and amateur athletes for more than 25 years. From  automotive to fitness and outdoor to marine and aviation, Garmin has sold over 200 million  products since its founding in 1989. Today, more than 12,000 employees across 50 offices  around the world work to help their clients live healthier lives, feel better, or discover new  things, using the #BeatYesterday motto. Garmin is characterized by a constant  diversification, thanks to which fitness & health trackers, smartwatches, golf and running  watches have been successfully established. The company, headquartered in Schaffhausen  (CH), is represented in the DACH region with locations in Garching near Munich (D), Graz  (A) and Neuhausen am Rheinfall (CH). In Würzburg (D) there is also a separate research and development location. A central principle of success is the vertical integration: The development from the draft to the product ready for sale as well as the sales remain largely in the enterprise. Garmin can thus guarantee the highest quality and design standards and motivate its customers every day.

Images and video assets 

(available for download at

  • Fig. 1: Booth of Garmin at CES 2019 Las Vegas Convention Center 
  • Fig. 2: Short video of unlocking process and/or
  • Fig. 2a: Image of unlocking process 
  • Fig. 3: Garmin Wearable, Volvo & Tapkey 
  • Fig. 4: Tapkey integrations 
  • Fig. 5: Jochen Schurich, Senior Business Developer and co-founder of Tapkey  
  • Fig. 6: Gilbert Hoedl, CEO of Tapkey 

About Tapkey

Tapkey is an innovative platform for smartphone-based access. The software enables app  developers, service providers and lock manufacturers to integrate mobile access into their  products and services. Compatible hardware and software can be easily integrated into the  Tapkey ecosystem. The Tapkey app and locking devices communicate via Bluetooth (BLE)  and NFC and can therefore be operated by both Android phones and iPhones.  Internationally renowned companies rely on the Tapkey platform and benefit from  ready-to-use locking devices and innovative distribution channels. These include WITTE  Automotive, EMKA and DOM Security. For more information, visit 

Tapkey GmbH
Chiara Wehinger
Brucknerstraße 2/6
1040 Vienna
Mobil: +43 (0) 660 870 37 73

Tapkey Integration

Spezialanfrage für deine Integration

Jetzt kontaktieren
Tapkey Blog

Mobile Access Trends, News & Tipps

Gleich nachlesen
Team Spotlight—Get to Know Jochen

In this month's team interview, we are introducing [...]

Mehr lesen
Better Together: Why Companies Should Team Up

Strategic partnerships are fundamental to improving business outcomes—also [...]

Mehr lesen
Visitor Management x Access Control: The Great Fusion

Organisations are using access control technology or a [...]

Mehr lesen
All About Tapkey

Take a peak behind Tapkey and all its [...]

Mehr lesen