Hyundai is embracing wearable technology and will allow customers to connect to its 2015 Genesis sedan using Google Glass and other devices, it announced Thursday.
I’m a curmudgeon about shoving fancy new technologies into cars, especially when it comes to infotainment systems: They don’t work well and they’re distracting.
But I like Hyundai’s Google Glass idea.
In its announcement, the Korean automaker said that because of the limited screen size, users will be able to see only things like maintenance notifications. Hyundai’s Blue Link mobile app will connect Glass to features like remote remote start and vehicle finder.
That sounds like one of my favourite car features, the head-up display. It projects things like speed, navigation directions, and local speed limits onto the windshield of a car, in the driver’s line of sight. It’s a safe and convenient way to convey important information, and eliminates the need for annoying voice commands or taking your eyes off the road to look at a screen.
The problem is that head-up displays are heavy and expensive, so they are offered almost exclusively in premium cars.
But if Google gets its way and we’re all running around with Glass on our faces sometime in the future, automakers could skip the investment on the head-up hardware and make their vehicles sync up with wearable tech.
It shouldn’t take much work to put information like navigation directions and vehicle speed on Glass or a competing technology. That would yield the benefits of a head-up display, without the extra cost (after you buy Glass, of course).
Even if we can’t get rid of huge touchscreens in cars (they’re a big money-maker), we can benefit from access to crucial information without taking our eyes off the road.
Nissan is already working on its own “glasses-type wearable device,” so Hyundai’s not alone. That’s great.
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