September 9, 2013
Nissan Reveals New Smartwatch Paired With Its Racing Cars
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Though it’s not yet certain if the watch will ever be available commercially, Nissan is understandably leveraging it as a driver’s companion. The Nismo Smartwatch connects via Bluetooth to a Nissan smartphone app and can display information about a car’s performance as well as driver stats, including heartbeat. Taking the name of its performance-focused automobiles, the Nismo smartwatch will be paired with Nissan’s high-end racing cars. Nissan is slated to show off its newest gadget during this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, September 10 – September 22.“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,” explained Gareth Dunsmore, Nissan Europe’s Marketing Communications General Manager 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.”
Nissan obviously believes its race car drivers are every bit an athlete as marathon runners or mountain bikers, the very people other smartwatch makers have built their wearable computers for. For instance, the company launched its “Nismo Lab” earlier this year, a mobile laboratory that captures biometric and telemetric data about the drivers as they’re careening across a race track. The Nismo smartwatch is also social and can alert drivers when they receive a new message from a social site as well as update that site on news about their drive.
The watch itself looks like a well-designed digital time piece. Available in three colors — black, red and white — the watch can be controlled with just two buttons and is latched onto their wearer’s wrist with what Nissan calls a “simple, snap-fit mechanism.” The entire style of the watch is inspired by the Nismo ring, a style Nissan calls “seamless, futuristic and ergonomic.” With a lithium-ion battery and a micro-USB port, the Nismo watch is expected to last a full seven days on a charge. Though wearers will likely access a Nismo smartwatch less often than a Samsung Galaxy Gear, the latter is expected to only last a single day on a charge under normal circumstances.
Though other watches from Pebble, Samsung and Qualcomm offer more functionality, Dunsmore believes the Nismo watch could one day become more tightly integrated with the wearer’s daily life.
“Imagine if you could heat up your car on a cold day before you got into it or shut the roof of your convertible when it started raining and it was parked outside,” he said in an interview with the BBC‘s Jane Wakefield.
The end goal of the Nismo smartwatch, according to Dunsmore, is to understand exactly how a driver is feeling during a race, including emotions, heartbeat, brainwaves and the like. Future iterations of the Nismo are expected to pack electrocardiograms (ECG) and electroencephalograms (EEG) sensors inside.
Drivers who make the leap for the Nismo smartwatch, should it ever be commercially available, will receive a box made of track-recovered rubber sealed by four hexagonal screws.