Apple Finn Cook has gone so far as to suggest that this, their watch, will one day replace the keys to your car, and that elaborate wireless remote.
We're not quite there yet However, even in these early days, we're seeing a fair number of apps being offered by car makers and other car technology companies to hopefully make driving a little simpler, a little easier, a little better, because you're wearing something smart on your wrist.
BMW's i Remote was the first Apple Watch car app we ever saw.
It came out on the debut day of the And it works with the company's iLine of highly electrified vehicles.
You can do what is basically telematics that you're used to on your phone but now on your wrist.
Check the charge of your car, lock the doors, unlock the doors, get guidance back to where you parked it.
Precondition the climate, you can do that easily because it's an electic car it doesn't really need to start the engine in any sense.
And you can also see how the charge is going to map out to where you might wanna go.
the car will even, through that watch app, suggest time to leave to use the least electricity to get there.
But again, not really anything you couldn't do on your phone already.
Ditto for Porsche's app, which is the same basic basket of telematics.
Although it works in a broader, more conventional array of their cars, they apply it to Cayenne, Macon, and a few others, as well as their 918 hybrid supercar, but we're basically still in the telematics area.
Hyundai's blue link app is actually on Android first.
Since that was the first smart watch platform of any scale, but as of our show today, it's still in the process of being ported to Apple Watch.
Now Automatic's a popular app, you put on your phone, it talks to an OBD2 wireless dongle you You stick up under your dash.
And, it gives you all kind of information about your trips, your driving style for economy or safety.
Also, where you parked your car and which trips you want to tag as extensible for business.
Now, in terms of their watch app, they've chosen to keep things pretty lean and taken just those last two functions.
Where's my car?
And Tag this trip as business expense and port those to the watch as the primary function.
They can bring everything there.
They're just not Sure it all belongs here which I think is good savvy restraints.
Now pay by phone is one of the class of connected parking apps that lets you check your status of the meter feed the thing find parking spaces in some cases with these apps it seems like a natural to have on your wrist That's when you're away from the car but you want to have a very quick, glancable reminder that hey, your time's running out and perhaps you can extend the time.
Right from your wrist.
Now you don't have to buy a new car to use Apple Watch with it.
Add on telematics makers like Viper for example, know that porting their existing phone app.
To Apple Watch is a sexy headline.
Allowing you to go to your wrist to unlock, precondition or get the location alerts about your car that you already can get on their phone app and command a lot of these things by voice.
Again, not new, but different.
Okay a couple of organizing principals to help you think about where the watch fits in your driving.
First they have two basic locations.
One is while driving, glancable on your wrist, which tends already be up high and in your view while you're driving.
Tends to be goo ergonomics and keeps your gaze roughly where it should be, if those notifications are worth while.
The other area is of course out of the car, when you're away from the vehicle and you need something to very quickly and cleanly remind you that.
If you need to get back to your car, time running out on your meter, or an easy way way to get back to where your car is if you forgot where you parked it, or tell you if it's charging or needs to be charged.
And then you've competing areas of platforms that are coming to compete with, or perhaps augment the watch.
And that would be things like Apple Car Play and Android Auto, which are going to bring a lot of this smart phone DNA to a richer Fixed display in the dash that is better integrated with the car.
You've also got to keep an eye on head up display which car makers are going head long to adopt, and that can give you an extremely elegant presentation of information right where your glance already is, and should be, and again highly integrated to the vehicle.
Either way, the watch is showing some early legs for the driver.
But as with most of it's modes that it's promising, it has yet to promise that it is better, not just different, from how we're doing things now.
More car tech demystified right now at CNET on cars dot com.
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