Since Steve Job’s passing, Apple has been in a bit of a creative rut. Not releasing a new piece of hardware into a new market since. However, that’s about to change, under the helm of Tim Cook. Apple Watch is set to be release in the coming weeks and is already taking the world by storm being sold out in most variants with shipping dates falling to June. Regardless of opinion on Apple’s newest wearable technology, people can’t stop talking about the Apple Watch.
One of the big things for the Apple watch is its integration with automobiles. BMW’s i Remote app for the i3 will be the first automotive app to be available to the Apple Watch. The basic things the i Remote app will be able to do through the watch are check charging status, lock and unlock the doors and even set the climate control from outside the car so your i3 is nice and cozy when you get in. This is all very functional, but will there be more?
Convenience and infotainment-like features
The Apple watch has great potential in the automotive world. The unlocking of the doors is a neat trick, but what about using the watch to call your car back to you? When autonomous functions finally debut, you could walk out of a restaurant and press the button on your watch and have your car meet you at the entrance. You wouldn’t even have to tip the valet. Some people are a bit weary about this, as it posed a potential security risk. What if someone steals the watch? Well, there are a couple of workarounds for that. Firstly, if the iPhone can utilize a fingerprint scanner to unlock your phone, it might make sense to utilize such software so that your fingerprint is the only thing which can unlock/call the car from the watch. Secondly, with fancier keyfobs, like the one on the i8, it could be possible to link the key to the watch so that the watch won’t work outside of a certain radius of the key.
There’s also the potential safety features which can be utilized in the watch. For instance, when the watch is synced to a car with blind-spot monitors, if the blind-spot monitor goes off, the watch could vibrate on the wrist to add an additional layer of awareness. Same goes for collision detection, if you happen to take your eyes off the road, if the collision warning goes off, the watch could vibrate. Also, activity watches like FitBit and Jawbone use the vibration as its alarm clock. The idea behind this is that the vibration is far more effective at waking someone up than noise is. So if car makers and Apple can tie the vibration function into some of the drowsy warnings in cars like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, it can help people stay awake more successfully.
But it isn’t all just security and safety. The Apple Watch could make the driving experience a bit nicer. Being able to utilize the Siri function of the watch, when connected to the car, means that one could play Pandora or make call or utilize any number of connective apps, all without having to take the actual phone out. While many cars have voice controls and Bluetooth connectivity already, the Watch just adds an extra layer of convenience. For instance, with certain apps like Waze, which can alert other drivers of police or roadblocks, you could use Siri to open the app on the watch and alert drivers of anything in your current location. Also, just ask Siri for directions and it could throw them up on the car’s nav screen.
The Apple Watch may not be the best thing since sliced bread right now, but as cars and everything else become more connected, the Watch’s true potential will shine. That’s the real kicker with this Apple Watch, the potential. The opportunities for extra convenience, safety and security are endless. With a little ingenuity, the Apple Watch could be a massive step forward in the automotive world.