Wearable technology is fast becoming the next big thing with tech giants such as Samsung, Sony, and Apple clamoring for a share of this new market segment.
Not to be left behind, the auto industry is quickly embracing the niche market with promises to offer consumers so much more.
Imagine if you could heat up your car on a cold day before you got into it? What if you could shut the roof of your convertible when it started raining and it was parked outside? These are some of the possibilities the auto industry is seeking to make a reality.
And to prove just how serious the industry is in its new endeavors, Japanese car maker Nissan has launched the first smartwatch that monitors the performance of a vehicle as well as the driver.
Just like a traditional smartwatch, the Nissan Nismo measures the user’s heart rate, temperature and other biometrics.
But it also allows users to keep an eye on their car’s performance – including average speeds and fuel consumption.
The smart watch is essentially meant for drivers of Nissan Nismo (racing) cars and will offer them real-time biometric data. According to Nissan, the Nismo Watch will allow motorsports drivers to monitor the efficiency of their vehicle with average speed and fuel consumption readings, access vehicle telematics and performance data while on track, capture biometric data via a heart rate monitor, connect to the car using a smartphone app via Bluetooth Low Energy, and receive tailored car messages from Nissan.
The futuristic-looking Nismo Watch will also track and rate the user’s social performance across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram via Nissan’s proprietary Social Speed software.
The Nismo Watch will use a lithium battery and will be charged by micro-USB, with a battery life of over seven days under normal usage conditions, as per Nissan.
The current gadget is one of the first products to come out of its Nismo laboratory, which captures live biometric and telematics data from Nissan racing cars and their drivers.
Nismo Watch’s features may not be as sophisticated as some of the capabilities mentioned at the start of the article, but experts predict that the watch could be an important step towards greater connectivity in cars.
“Connectivity is the new battleground for car manufacturers,” said Chas Hallett, editor-in-chief of What Car?
“In-car internet is coming and now with consumer electronics focusing on watch-based connections, Nissan is getting ahead of the game and joining the two together very cleverly.”
The lab plans to use electrocardiograms (ECG) and electroencephalograms (EEG) in the future to capture a range of heart and brainwave data.
The eventual aim would be to create wearable technology for drivers that can spot fatigue, monitor drivers’ levels of concentration and emotions and record hydration levels.
the watch was unveiled ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show, which runs until 22 September. The Nismo Watch will be available in three colours, black, white and the flagship black and red.