Wearable technology seems to be soaring to popularity with the release of the Apple Watch. We, at the Electric Blog, wanted to find out what this might mean for the electric vehicle. Car brands appear to be leaping at the opportunity of implementing smart watches into the driving experience. Through the use of smart watches and their apss, these brands seem to be attempting to consolidate the driving experience with a connectivity that is not only safe, but relevant to the car itself.
Some companies that have started investing in smartwatch apps include BMW, Hyundai, and even Mercedes; however, these brands seem to be opting for Android devices over Apple. This means that they’re focusing on devices such as the Galaxy Gear, Nissan’s Nismo watch, and Pebble. These smartwatch apps deliver basic features such as making and receiving calls, sending messages (voice-to-text – no texting-and-driving here), streaming music and even receiving turn-by-turn navigation – all of this is achieved without ever taking your hands off the steering wheel. Obviously, the capabilities of these smartwatches expand far beyond just these basic features.
Through these apps, you can check the battery status of your electric vehicle, the driving range as well as the status of your doors and windows. Your smartwatch will also give you notifications of your service or inspection needs. Road Hazards, speeding alerts and other useful information will be sent straight to your wrist in real time so you’ll be up-to-date with all the latest information. In a sense, using smartwatch apps will eliminate the abundance of uninformed drivers. With real-time updates on road conditions, a driver will be able to make alternative plans to avoid traffic jams, car accidents and bad driving conditions. Thus making the process of driving and owning a vehicle more effortless than ever.
Taking it a step further
Some car companies have taken their smartwatch apps even further. Hyundai in particular is pushing the limits when it comes to utilising wearable technology in the driving experience. Debuting at the CES 2015 in Las Vegas, Hyundai showcased their new Blue Link Android smartwatch app. Controlled through either touch or voice commands, the Blue Link app allows you to remotely lock or unlock your car doors, start and stop your engine, flash the lights and honk the horn, or have your watch locate your car.
While still in development, BMW also showcased their bid for the smart watch app market at the CES 2015 in conjunction with Samsung Galaxy Gear. This app was exclusively shown to work with the BMW i3, but could later be made to work with other models. Integrating many features that other brands have used in their apps, BMW has taken their app a step further by introducing the concept of an Automated Valet assistant. This means that you’ll be able to use voice commands, sent through your smartwatch, to remotely park your car while you rush off to a meeting or on errands. You can also use voice commands to get your car to pick you up from your current location.
These companies are only scratching at the surface of possibilities when it comes to implementing wearable technology into the driving experience. In the not-so-distant future, it could very well be a possibility that we are all using wearable technology on a regular basis to drive our vehicles. The potential is infinite.
Have any comments on what this might mean for the future of driving and EVs? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Get in touch at (416) 490-8093 or @SignatureMark