Viper SmartStart, developed by Directed Electronics, was released last week and covered widely around the blogsphere. Paired with its flagship Viper SmartStart system, the SmartStart app lets you remotely start and lock/unlock your car via a simple and intuitive interface. What’s more is it also allows you to release the trunk or activate a panic alarm remotely. To learn more about the app, you can check out the official website.

While you can use the key fobs to do the same things, it’s usaually limited to a range of 30 to 100 feet. With Viper SmartStart, however, you can control the car from virtually anywhere as the signal is sent over cellular networks (i.e. 3G or EDGE). The app also works on iPod touch as long as you have Wifi access.

Why do you need to activate your car engine from anywhere? The company suggests to use the app when you’re out of range and need to defrost windows or cool down a car before getting in. The app will be perfect for that. The app is not limited to a single vehicle. You can pair it with multiple vehicles. Or you can assign more than one user to control a vehicle.

The iPhone app is now available for free download on App Store [iTunes link]. While it’s free, you can’t use it without pairing with the Viper SmartStart hardware, which should be installed in your car. The hardware system is sold at US$499.