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Computer giant Apple» is set to revolutionize the traditional door key with introduction of a hi-tech alternative nicknamed the 'iKey'.
It means people can stop carrying around a bunch of keys, and instead use a single electronic device to unlock their car, front door and gain access to their office.
The technology simply requires the users to enter a pin code and wave the device over an electronic pad fitted beside a door to open it.
"The trouble is that the technology hasn't gone completely mainstream. If Apple» were to adopt the technology, they would likely set the standard, and that would drive widespread adoption as everyone scrambles to make their systems iPhone-friendly."
If granted, the application filed at US Patent house will offer Apple legal protection from other companies copying its ideas and technology.
Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, said: "We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We've decided to do something about it.
"We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."