Nissan working on smart watch that monitors both car and driver

The company described it as a concept and did not release details on commercial availability of the product

By , IDG News Service |  

Nissan is working on a smart watch that will monitor both its Nismo cars and their drivers.

The watch, which will provide real-time biometric data like a driver's heart rate, will be designed specifically for drivers of Nissan's Nismo line of mostly sport cars. It will be on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show from Tuesday and is described as Nissan's "first step into wearable technology."

The company did not reveal the date for the commercial availability of a product or its pricing, describing it as a concept watch. It said, however, that the watch will be available in three colors -- black, white and black and red. The user interface can be controlled by two buttons and the watch is secured onto the driver's wrist through a snap-fit mechanism, Nissan said.

Drivers can use the watch to monitor the efficiency of their vehicle with average speed and fuel consumption readings, access vehicle telematics and performance data while on track, capture biometric data through a heart rate monitor, connect to the car using a smartphone app via Bluetooth Low Energy standard and receive tailored car messages from Nissan.

The car company plans to add ECG (electrocardiogram) capabilities to measure the intervals of the R-R rhythm of the heart and identify driver fatigue, EEG (electroencephalogram) Brainwave to monitor the drivers' levels of concentration and emotions, and measurement of skin temperature for record of core body temperature and hydration levels.

The Nismo Watch will also track and rate the user's "social performance" across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram using Nissan's proprietary Social Speed software, the company said.

The watch uses a lithium battery which can be charged by micro-USB, with a battery life of over seven days under normal usage conditions.

A number of companies, including Apple, are believed to be targeting the market for wearable computing. Samsung Electronics launched last week at the IFA electronics show in Berlin the Galaxy Gear, a watch that will allow users to see details of some messages received by the phone, answer and place calls, run a number of apps written for the device and take pictures with an internal camera. The device is paired with Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 smartphone and is scheduled to be available in the U.S. in October, Samsung said.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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