With rumours of Tesla finally getting ready to release an official Apple Watch app, one Tesla owner couldn’t wait and decided to turn an old-school $20 watch into a key for his Model 3.
Granted the Casio F-91W can’t do anything other than unlock the car, but it’s an impressive hack that shows the ingenuity and creativity of Tesla owners.
The hack, which was posted to Hackday.io and shared by the owner Mattia Dal Ben on Reddit, all started because he found himself unable to get into his vehicle at the most inopportune times.
“Let’s start with the usual: “I love my X but…”, in this case the “X” is my Tesla Model 3 and the itch I cannot scratch is that, from time to time, the keyless entry doesn’t work as expected. This usually happens in the worst of circumstances (Water is pouring from the sky? Well I won’t open for you sorry…). Something hacky was needed….“
Surprisingly Dal Ben didn’t use his official Tesla keycard, instead deciding to use a third-party NFC card and an antenna of his own creation to turn the dumb watch into a Tesla key.
To make it all work and fit in the original chassis of the Casio, he also had to create and 3D print a new backing for the watch.
As with any project, Dal Ben thinks the next iteration could implement some much needed improvements. The new 3D-printed back could be refined some more as it is a little rough around the edges and can sometimes scratch him.
The range of the NFC is also not quite as good as he would like, which he thinks could be improved by removing some metal inside the watch and changing antennas.
In case you didn’t believe him, Dal Ben posted a video showing off the watch in action, and it works surprisingly well. If you’re bit of a techy at heart, you can read the full details of the build here.