Tech

BMW seat heating hacked

I confess that I’ve been wanting to write this news for a couple of weeks, looking for information about its reason for being. And it hasn’t been a long wait, thankfully. And it is that, of course, before an obvious tease, one waits (on many occasions without success) a counter-reply that restores balance, that shows us that common sense has not been lost, that we can trust that there are people able to correct situations that do not make sense.

You may remember that a couple of weeks ago we talked about BMW having opted for the service model for heating the seats in their cars. A model that, although justified by the company as a measure of flexibilityPersonally, I find it ridiculous. Charging a function as a service is something that we have been seeing for some time, unfortunately, in the world of software and especially games, and it seems that other sectors have learned the lesson.

In the case of BMW, as we already told you, the company charges $18 a month to use the heated seat feature, although it offers cheaper rates, such as $180 per year and $300 for three years. This model is currently in force in Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and South Africa, although we can imagine that the company plans to extend it to other markets as soon as possible. And it is that, who would not want to sell you a car, including in its price the cost of the heating elements of the seats and, later, also charging you for using it?

The good news is that, of course, we are talking about electronics, which makes a car or, to be more exact, the electronic part of a car, not so different from a computer or a smartphone. So, if last week we were talking about the first jailbreak for iOS 15, why wouldn’t it be possible to jailbreak a BMW? Well, nothing, really. And, as we can read on SlashGear, this is already happening, there are already workshops that offer the possibility of unlocking the paid functions of BMW.

Unlike a monthly payment, as offered by BMW, these workshops offer to unlock the desired functions for a single paymenta much cheaper formula, and that has found the support of quite a few users who are annoyed by having to pay twice (once when buying the car and the second when contracting the subscription) for one or more of its functions, ranging from the already mentioned heating of the seats to the customization of some car sounds.

The solution is not perfect, of course, as it could void the warranty and, in addition, the unlocking and functions could be lost when updating the car software, just like it happens with other types of devices. Maybe garages should offer unlocking as a service? In this case, curiously, the subscription model would make a lot of sense and, furthermore, it would really offer added value to the user, something that BMW’s proposal lacks today.

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