Let's See Those Hands on the Steering Wheel is one of the most popular and enduring threads on Watchuseek. But now there's a watch that not only looks good on the steering wheel, it can actually bring the vehicle right to you. This was demonstrated earlier this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
To summon one of Audi's new concept cars on stage at the company's CES press conference, R&D Chief Ulrich Hackenberg used an app on the watch, made by LG, and the car arrived on stage all by itself. The metal-cased, three buttoned smartwatch with leather strap was running a custom version of Android Wear and an app developed by Audi.
The device is a working prototype of a system being developed by Audi that could eventually see a smartwatch open and close Audi cars as well as start the engine. Audi uses NFC (near-field communication) to establish a link with the car and is currently exploring ways to make the technology work safely between car and watch.
Similar to secure mobile payments, the watch could theoretically be used to unlock and start the car, adjust climate control, and change the in car entertainment system. In addition, the watch could be used to measure biometric sensors to track the drivers heart rate and body temperature.
Audi isn't the only company trying to harness Smartwatch technology to their vehicles. Nissan looked into a similarly connected wearable with its Nismo smartwatch back in 2013. And BMW have developed a remote parking system, again activated by a smartwatch app, enabling automated parking in multi-storey car parks. However you are not going to be summoning your Audi from the car park any time soon. The watch and the app that controls it still require a lot more research and development.
Also at CES this week, Guess unveiled the results of its partnership with smartwatch specialist Martian, in the form of Guess Connect. Based on Guess' popular Rigor model, with a small LCD notification display at the six o'clock position on the dial. The watches will be water resistant and will incorporate Martian's Dual Mode functionality, simultaneously offering voice command functions via Classic Bluetooth while utilizing Bluetooth LE to provide hands-free and eyes-free notifications to the wrist from thousands of popular apps and programs.
Guess Connect smartwatches will house a fully-contained Martian module that sports a microphone and clear audio speaker. It allows users to connect to their smartphone's voice command app, so wearers can give voice commands, talk and listen, and respond to texts directly from the watch. In addition, using the free iOS & Android App, users can customize which notifications are received on the watch, create unique vibration patterns to distinguish between alert types, and recall the most recent notifications with just a tap of the watch glass.