Nissan Debuts Smartwatch to Connect Car and Driver

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2013-09-09

Car manufacturer Nissan is getting into the smartwatch game right behind Samsung, which recently unveiled its own smartwatch. The Nismo Concept Watch will be the first smartwatch to connect a driver to the car and will provide drivers with real-time biometric data, such as a heart rate monitor.

The device will allow drivers to monitor the efficiency of their vehicle with average speed and fuel consumption readings, access vehicle telematics and performance data while on track, connect to the car using a smartphone app through Bluetooth Low Energy and receive tailored car messages from Nissan. In addition, the watch will use a lithium battery and will be charged by micro-USB, with a battery life of more than seven days under normal usage conditions.

The watch will be available in three colors--black, white and a flagship black and red combination. The watch design was inspired by the Nismo ring and is referenced in a futuristic and ergonomic design. The user interface can be controlled by two buttons and is secured onto the driver's wrist through a snap-fit mechanism.

The Nismo Watch will also track and rate the user's social performance across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram through Nissan's proprietary Social Speed software. The watch, unveiled ahead of its display at the Frankfurt Motor Show, is Nissan's first step into wearable technology.

"Wearable technology is fast becoming the next big thing and we want to take advantage of this innovative technology to make our Nismo Brand more accessible,” Gareth Dunsmore, marketing communications general manager for Nissan in Europe, said in a statement. “On track, Nissan uses the latest biometric training technologies to improve the performance of our Nissan Nismo Athletes and it is this technology we want to bring to our fans to enhance their driving experience and Nismo ownership."

Earlier this year, Nissan launched the Nismo Lab–a mobile laboratory that features advanced biometric training tools such as brainwave technology and JukeRide–a performance analysis tool that captures live biometric and telematics data from the race cars and Nismo athletes during races.

The company said Nismo's vision is to take these digital-age technologies and make them available to athletes from other disciplines and to Nissan owners through future wearable tech. Three key technologies have already identified for future development, including electrocardiogram (ECG), Electroencephalogram (EEG) and skin temperature.

"We have brought the Nismo experience to life in every aspect of the watch, including its packaging, which will be made using tires and rubber from the racetrack," Dunsmore concluded. "As Nismo is the performance arm of Nissan, we wanted a way of integrating Nismo's heritage in racing into this futuristic innovation."

Samsung finally unveiled its smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, which has a 1.63-inch AMOLED display, a thick plastic band and an intense silver clasp. The bands will come in six colors—black, gray, orange, oatmeal, rose-gold and lime green. It weighs less than 3 ounces and features an 800MHz processor.

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