Google Glass and other wearable devices will be able to be used by drivers to remotely and wirelessly operate some of the features of the 2015 Hyundai Genesis automobile.
Hyundai will spotlight the new capabilities Jan. 6 at the PEPCOM Digital Experience event in Las Vegas, just before the huge 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opens, Miles Johnson, a Hyundai spokesman, told eWEEK.
The Genesis remote features will be made possible through Hyundai’s cloud-based Blue Link platform, which will let owners of the vehicles connect wirelessly to a wide array of features using Glass or other wearable computing devices, according to Hyundai. The company will launch a Blue Link Glassware app to enable the connection between Glass and the Genesis vehicles.
The app, which is still under development, will be available for the new Genesis, which will be released in the spring of 2014 as a 2015 model vehicle, said Johnson, who has already used the app and seen its functions.
“The scenarios pop up and then you’re able to use hand gestures to move through the screens” to select features and options using a touch and a swipe of a finger, he said. “You can lock the doors, start the car or look for a destination and put that route into the car from Glass.”
Barry Ratzlaff, executive director of Customer Connect and Service Business Development at Hyundai Motor America, said in a statement that the company sees wearable devices as a technology trend across a broad range of fields. “As a leader in connected car technology, we’re always exploring new ways to use technology to enhance the ownership experience for our customers,” Ratzlaff said. “Wearables are a great way to extend the experience outside of the vehicle by leveraging these small screens to quickly access remote features and deliver timely vehicle information.”
The wearable device apps will join existing mobile app offerings that Hyundai already offers to consumers.
The apps for Google Glass and other wearable devices will only include the most useful and relevant information to drivers since the small screens only allow a small amount of information to be displayed, according to Hyundai. “On Google Glass, vehicle information will be presented as cards optimized for the Glass user interface,” the company stated in its announcement. “Push notifications will alert the owner when maintenance is due and allow quick service scheduling by enabling the wearer to initiate a call using the device’s built-in functionality.”
The announcement is also interesting in light of the ongoing legal case of a California woman who was ticketed in October 2013 for operating her automobile while wearing Google Glass. Cecelia Abadie, 44, of Temecula, Calif., pleaded not guilty at a court hearing in December and will go to trial on Jan. 16. Her attorney will argue that she was only wearing the device and not using it when she was stopped.
In 2010, Hyundai launched its then-new Equus sedan with an iPad application that replaced the vehicle owner’s manual with a digital, interactive version, according to the company. In the summer of 2013, Hyundai unveiled a new Car Care app that allows vehicle owners to schedule service, look up maintenance schedules, read quick reference guides and more.
Google Glass Will Integrate With the 2015 Hyundai Genesis
Hyundai has also launched Blue Link apps for iOS and Android platforms for vehicle owners, according to the company.
“In 2013, we saw millions of commands sent to Hyundai vehicles from our Blue Link mobile application,” said Ratzlaff. “As new screens emerge, we see a real opportunity to expand our app strategy to provide added convenience for our owners.”
Other vehicle makers will certainly be unveiling their own innovations at CES when it opens Jan. 7.
One such deal is that Google and Audi are expected to announce the joint development of new Android in-car systems at the January Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Apple is also working on similar collaborative efforts using its own iOS technologies with other automakers.
Google has certainly been working with automakers in the past on such projects.
In January 2013, Google announced deals for connected-car technologies with Hyundai and Kia Motors America to bring new mobile capabilities to drivers and vehicles. The Google deals included bringing Google Maps application programming interfaces (APIs) to Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics platform and Google content and search-based APIs to the second version of Kia’s UVO eServices telematics system. Hyundai Blue Link offers applications and mobile features to drivers. New features included a Send to Car feature for smartphones, Point of Interest (POI) Search and Local Search by Voice.
Google has previously teamed up with Audi for voice-controlled local search information and satellite and Street View imagery, according to a previous eWEEK report. Google has also previously partnered with Daimler, which offers Mercedes-Benz A-Class drivers a Digital DriveStyle App providing Google local search, as well as Zagat ratings; and Tesla Motor Co., which offers Google Maps to drivers of its Tesla Model S. In the latter, Google Earth and Street View images are, one imagines, particularly easy to view, as the car features an in-dash 17-inch display.