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Roadshow Video Reviews
Faurecia SmartFit seatThe first car seat that is controlled via a smartphone app.
How many adjustments does your car's seat have? Nowadays, 6, 8, 10 is common. 15, 16, in this case, an Audi A8 seat, 22 adjustments, I don't know what to do with them. The folks at Faurecia, who make a lot of those advanced seats in cars, perhaps like yours, feel our pain and so they've done an interesting linkage here between the seat with all of its power adjustments and the smartphone with all the power that it can have with apps. They've got something called SmartFit. Check out how this works. You start by setting up a profile of yourself, your height, your weight, your gender, and also two profile photos of your actual body. Oh, and check out how the software figures out how long your arm is. You don't measure that, you hit this little accelerometer routine here and then, you do a little windmill deal. When it vibrates, it's got you all figured out. Then, you upload this via Bluetooth from the app to the seat which puts together a pretty much spot-on adjustment set for your weight and your height and all the lengths of all your long bones in your back and all of that. Kind of ballpark sitting. Of course, you can still adjust things yourself to get the tweak just right but it gets you in the ballpark 'cause I don't know what to do with some of these adjustments like this one under the thigh. Where's that supposed to go? Now look at this menu. Here's where you can fix what's wrong with you. A lot of the problem you have driving your car long distances isn't necessarily the seat's problem, it's, let's see, your lower back pain, your leg discomfort, your headrest positioning or your numbness in your seat, I mean, your seat not its seat. All of these here can be put together as a coaching session. If I press this one, lower back pain, here comes the doc. He's gonna talk me through how lower back pain occurs and how a car seat is involved in hopefully helping it, and when he's done, you can use his advice right here wirelessly moving, in this case, the lumbar support around. Not even reaching for the car's seat controls. All done with Bluetooth. Okay, the last thing on here is Shop For New Features. Let's say the seat that comes in your fancy car, with all of its adjustments, doesn't have shiatsu massage, or maybe it doesn't have a sport mode like some manufacturers offer but not all, you could go add it in theory as an app. Here's one for Shiatsu Massage. I can go to Pro Postures. There's Performance Driving, Comfort Cruise for that really long road trip. Now, how they open this up to app writers is still kind of TBD. Car makers have a lot to say about that, but this is the first time we've seen the smartphone talk to the seat and figure out all those buttons.