Nissan has joined the raft of technology companies launching smartwatches – but instead of letting users do everything from taking photos to surfing the web, the car-inspired timepiece analyses the efficiency of a Nissan car. Few people had expected a car manufacturer to enter the smartwatch fray – which has seen Sony and Samsung launching high-profile watches last week, and many consumers eagerly anticipating an offering from Apple.
The Nismo Watch connects drivers to their cars and provides data on both the car and its driver’s performance. The company claims its product, which was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show and is aimed at ‘petrolheads’, is the first smartwatch to connect a driver with a car and is the company’s initial step into wearable technology.
While the watch is currently a concept, Nissan said it will monitor a car’s efficiency, including the average speed and fuel consumption and track the driver’s biometric data using a heart rate monitor.
The watch can also accesses vehicle telematics and performance data, such as how smoothly a driver brakes and accelerates.
Nissan has not revealed how much the Nismo watch will cost or when it could launch, but it will come in black, white and red, hinting that the concept will be put into production.
It is designed to work with Nissan Nismo vehicles using a smartphone via a Bluetooth Low Energy connection. The smartwatch is powered by a lithium battery that lasts seven days with ‘normal usage’ but can be recharged via micro-USB. The design is ‘futuristic and ergonomic,’ according to the company and has a simple user interface that is controlled by two buttons.
It has a special ‘snap-fit’ mechanism on the strap and the gift box is made of used tyres and rubber from the racetrack of Nissan’s Nismo racing arm.
The watch is the first product to be developed in Nissan’s Nismo Lab, which opened this year to explore biometric training tools for athletes and drivers.
The company will focus on developing ECG technologies to measure the intervals of R-R rhythm of the heart with the aim of identifying early fatigue in a driver to reduce the chance of a road accident.
Nissan also wants to monitor the driver’s levels of concentration and emotions, to help athletes get ‘in the zone’ as well as keeping track of skin temperature to record hydration levels.