What time is it? Time to slow down at the apex. NISMO smartwatch drives telematics to driver

NISMO concept watch

NISMO concept watch


One part Dick Tracy comic book wrist watch and another of the rumored iWatch from Apple, and another for motor sports, Nissan’s sports division – NISMO – debuted its concept watch at the recent Frankfurt Auto Show that connects the driver to the car.

This wearable technology is alleged to provide biometric data that helps driver performance and efficiency. While that sounds cool, I was wondering if a tried and true “heads up” display on the windshield wouldn’t be better since anyone driving a NISMO has the need for speed. If it’s not safe to glance at your radio or smartphone, what then of a similar time frame to check your biometric feedback on your wrist at a high rate of speed?

Nissan will become the first car manufacturer to create a smartwatch designed specifically for drivers of Nissan NISMO cars. The Nissan NISMO Concept Watch will be the first smartwatch to connect a driver to the car and will provide drivers with real-time biometric data.

Nissan will become the first car manufacturer to create a smartwatch designed specifically for drivers of Nissan NISMO cars. The Nissan NISMO Concept Watch will be the first smartwatch to connect a driver to the car and will provide drivers with real-time biometric data.

Nissan says the NISMO Watch 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
  • Capture biometric data via a heart rate monitor
  • Connect to the car using a smartphone app via Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Receive tailored car messages from Nissan

Gareth Dunsmore, Marketing Communications General Manager, Nissan in Europe, commented: “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. 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.”

Research at the NISMO performance lab has identified three key technologies have already been identified for future development and wearable technology:

  • ECG (Electrocardiogram) to measure the intervals of the R-R rhythm of the heart and identify early fatigue
  • EEG (Electroencephalogram) Brainwave to monitor the drivers’ levels of concentration and emotions, and help athletes to get “In the Zone”
  • Skin Temperature to record core body temperature and hydration levels

The 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 sleek NISMO Watch will be available in three colors – black, white and the flagship black and red.

Lithium battery life is pegged at seven days, and yes, you’ll need another USB cord to recharge it.


Scion display audio system standard on entire line

Continuing to offer big car features in its small, somewhat quirky styled cars, Scion is making a touchscreen audio system standard on its entire lineup for 2014.

All 2014 Scion models will come standard with the Scion Display Audio System featuring a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen, AM/FM/CD/HD Radio technology, hands-free phone capability, music streaming via Bluetooth® wireless technology and AUX/USB port with iPod® connectivity.

An 2013 xBs produced in August or later will get the new audio system as standard.

“A standard touchscreen audio system across the entire Scion lineup stays true to the brand’s innovative nature and responsiveness to the desires of its youthful drivers,” Scion Vice President Doug Murtha said.

Available BeSpoke® Premium Audio System 
scion_my14_audio_2Beyond the base audio system, all new models will offer the Scion BeSpoke Premium Audio system featuring Aha. This upgraded system features GPS navigation services, integration with popular social media applications and smartphone-compatible access to 30,000 free audio stations, including sports, news, entertainment and Scion’s own signature station with 17 music channels.

BeSpoke has an MSRP of $1,198.

For more details on the BeSpoke system visit: http://www.scion.com/BeSpoke/.

VW/Google SmileDrive app tries to put fun into your drive

SmileDrive screen

SmileDrive screen


Do we really want need a happy automotive app?

VW of American and Google think so.
The two have launched an Android-device enabled app alleged to promote fun and more smiles on every trip. Hey, I didn’t write that, they did. In its beta version, SmileDrive™ is ready for download exclusively in the Google Play store (www.play.google.com/store).“A lot of time is spent in the car today, whether it is for the daily commute to work or setting off with friends and family on a weekend camping trip,” said Kevin Mayer, Vice President of Marketing at Volkswagen of America. “We wanted to provide a way for consumers to add a little more flare to their road trips and a way to share the good times in their VW’s with their friends.”

SmileDrive connects to a user’s car—any kind of car—through Bluetooth® wireless technology, and runs in the background to track data for both everyday commutes and road trips. After a drive is complete, the app uses factors like location, distance, time and weather to deliver users their Smile Score and with “virtual stickers,” for unique accomplishments.

The app has re-imagined the classic “PunchDub” game, allowing people to collect “punches” each time they see a V-Dub, using the app. Drivers cannot interact with the app, or get notifications, while the car is in motion.
Roadtrips using SmileDrive can be catalogued via photos, maps, status updates on to what is called a Smilecast: think Facebook for a VW trip with a VW app and you’re on the right page. The travels are collected on a single URL that be later be shared with friends or family.SmileDrive was conceived as part of Google’s ongoing Art, Copy & Code project, which focuses on reimagining brand experiences for the connected world. “We’re exploring how brands can connect to consumers through a whole range of digital tools, whether that’s through ads, mobile apps, or experiences,” said Aman Govil, Art, Copy & Code Project Lead at Google.

SmileDrive Features

SmileDrive: Where's My Car

SmileDrive: Where’s My Car

• Seamless Sharing – The app is linked to the user’s Google+ account and friends can be invited to follow these trips online, commenting on photos and posts along the way. Everything recorded is shareable, should the user choose.

• Smilecast – Friends can either be invited to join along in the car via Google+, or watch the journey on the web. At the end of the trip, the driver receives a brief video compiling the highlights of their trip, which can then be shared with friends and family.

• Stickers – Users can earn fun, virtual bumper stickers when they unlock special achievements, such as the “Night Owl” sticker for late night drives. These can be shared on any social network.

• Punches
 – Users can play a re-imagined version of the classic “PunchDub” game. When two Volkswagen SmileDrive users encounter each other en route, the app will register a “virtual punch”.

• Smile Score – At the end of each drive, SmileDrive calculates the number of points earned while on the road. Points are a function of the number of punches, stickers earned, traffic conditions, weather, and more.

• Find My Car – By logging the vehicle’s last position, SmileDrive can help users find their car via Google Maps, and receive corresponding walking directions when available.

• Bluetooth® wireless technology – Through pairing the app with the car, drives are automatically recorded when the user starts and stops the vehicle. If the car doesn’t have Bluetooth technology, the app can be manually started and stopped before driving begins.

The app requires compatible Android device. Standard data rates apply.

BOSS Audio shows off Single-DIN Head Units with iPhone control

BVI9997B FACEOxnard, CA—BOSS Audio Systems has introduced two single-DIN sized infotainment head units with full iPod or iPhone control.

Both the BVI9994 and the BVI9997B models include an adjustable, motorized 7-inch wide touchscreen TFT digital monitor outfitted with front and rear USB ports, an SD port, A/V input and rear camera input.

A Steering Wheel Interface makes switching stations or tracks a breeze, and switchable US & European Tuner Frequencies ensure easy listening. Front and rear outputs, sub outputs, and video output are also included across the board.

The BVI9994 includes a front auxiliary input compatible with audio output from iPods, iPhones, MP3 players, smartphones and many other devices. Both the BVI9994 and the BVI9997B include remote control, full iPod/iPhone control, and 85W X 4 Channel Output Power.

The BVI9997B additionally features built-in Bluetooth, allowing for hands-free phone use and streaming audio via Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Both the BVI9997B and the BVI9994 are currently available. For more information, surf on over to: http://www.bossaudio.com.

Pioneer says it offers the most smartphone connection options

MirrorLink, iPhone and Android Connectivity Available in AppRadio 3 Models

As connectivity continues to grow – we all expect our iPads, smartphones and almost anything electronic to seemlessly connect to devices in our automobiles – so do, too, the options.

Next up in the technoparade is Pioneer (remember the old days when we all had Pioneer receivers in our dorm rooms?)

Pioneer is now offering two versions (SPH-DA210 and SPH-DA110) of its next generationAppRadio® 3 smartphone connected in-dash receiver.  Expanding on Pioneer’s philosophy to enable consumers stay connected , both AppRadio 3 models feature compatibility with MirrorLink™ enabled smartphones in addition to the current AppRadio compatibility with both iOS (iPhone® 4/4S/5) and select Android™ OS smartphones.  Integrated model features include voice control for Siri Eyes Free and Google® Voice Recognition, a revised graphical user interface, Bluetooth® audio streaming, and a built-in DVD/CD mechanism (SPH-DA210 model only).

“As the popularity and use of smartphones and smartphone apps continues to grow, consumer demand for a safe and intuitive method to utilize the power of the smartphone in the vehicle continues to rise as well.  Additionally, there is now a wider variety of smartphone manufacturers and smartphone OS options to choose from,” said Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for the Car Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc.  “Pioneer’s AppRadio 3 embraces these trends by offering expanded compatibility with many of the top selling devices and providing in-dash playback, display and touchscreen control of select navigation, traffic, weather, music and other apps to enhance the driving experience and make practically any car into a connected car.”

Through the use of Pioneer’s free AppRadio application (available for both iOS and Android OS) and compatible third-party apps, both AppRadio 3 receivers offer control of supported app functions using similar touch and motion gestures of the connected smartphone devices on a high resolution 7-inch capacitive touchscreen.  Additional convenience and control incorporated in the two new models includes:

  • MirrorLink  An in-vehicle connectivity standard created by the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), MirrorLink technology enables consumers to connect compatible smartphones to AppRadio 3 (or other compatible in-dash receiver) via a USB cable to access certain music and map applications for a more convenient and safer in-car experience.  Similar to AppRadio Mode, MirrorLink is now integrated into AppRadio 3 receivers and offers a vehicle-specific interface and connectivity with MirrorLink certified devices from smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, Nokia and others. 
  •  Siri Eyes Free  Your iPhone 4, 4S, or 5 device can take advantage of Siri Eyes Free functionality with a touch of the AppRadio 3 touchscreen.  When activated, Siri voice prompts play through the vehicle’s speakers and the user’s questions and commands are received and transmitted using the external microphone provided with both AppRadio 3 models.
  • Bluetooth – To maximize the connectivity options available in today’s most popular smartphones, both AppRadio 3 models offer both Bluetooth hands-free calling and Bluetooth audio streaming and wireless control of compatible devices.
  • Enhanced Touchscreen User Interface – Designed with the smartphone user in mind, the AppRadio 3 touchscreen user interface (UI) provides easy access to the most commonly used features such as apps, music and calling.

Both AppRadio 3 models feature a built-in AM/FM tuner with RDS text information display (when available), MOSFET 50 Watts X 4 power, and dual preamp outputs.  In addition, the SPH-DA210 model also includes a CD/DVD mechanism for playback of conventional media.

Pioneer’s SPH-DA110 and SPH-DA210 AppRadio 3 models will be available in July with suggested prices of $399 and $499 respectively.    The smartphone connectivity cables range in suggested prices from $30 to $60.

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