The era of the Internet of Things (IoT) is dawning and ushering a demand for more integrated technology in the consumer market. People are looking for technology that allows a car to drive itself to the location of its user, to park on its own and to control various… (Featured image is for representational purpose and has been sourced from https://pixabay.com/en/watch-car-vehicle-automobile-916395/)
The era of the Internet of Things (IoT) is dawning and ushering a demand for more integrated technology in the consumer market. People are looking for technology that allows a car to drive itself to the location of its user, to park on its own and to control various aspects such as self-driving, locking and unlocking, monitoring the driver for any health issues during the drive and much more.
One technology that bridges the gap between a consumer with such demands and the vehicle is wearable devices.
Why integrate wearables with vehicles?
The biggest benefit of wearables is its ability to allow a wearer to access data from anywhere. It brings significant advantages to a driver such as improving the driver performance, increasing the driver safety and security and monitoring the driver’s health. According to an Ericsson Mobility Report, there will be about 1.5 billion IoT devices with cellular connections by 2022. Connected IoT devices include connected cars, machines, meters, sensors, point-of-sales terminals, consumer electronics and wearables, which suggests how much the world will benefit from connected wearable technology.
The need of the hour suggests that connectivity will be on the rise, and integrating wearables with vehicles is a solution to expand connectivity in the given infrastructure. For example, one application can be to track the driver’s performance and get information from a vehicle’s telematics system about instances of hard acceleration, harsh braking, and on-time arrivals. Wearable devices also collaborate with data collated from a vehicle’s telematics system to provide vibration-based danger alerts to a driver during lane changing operations or if any other vehicle is in the blind spot. These wearables can also feature onscreen buttons to alert the back office or sound a distress call in case of emergency.
Several players – both automobile and technology companies – are exploring the space of wearables with vehicles. Take for instance Sony Corporation’s patent application US20170010672 A1. This patent describes a method in which sensors are leveraged to provide customized haptic feedback from a wearable device. When the user is driving at a high speed, the wearable device sends alerts in the form of vibration patterns, pressing the driver to slow down to permissible limits.
The diagram above shows a wearable device internal assembly, which is configured with a processing module with wearable sensors and haptic output devices. The wearable sensors 320, 330 and 340 provide biological data, such as blood pressure, heart rate, hydration, blood as well as sugar, blood glucose, SP02, cortisol, skin condition and lactic acid concentrations. They may also include sensors such as accelerometers, temperature sensors, altitude sensors, motion sensors, position sensors and other sensors detecting the physical circumstances of the wearer.
What’s trending in the market?
Hyundai Blue Link: Huyndai Blue Link is a car app which accesses features via a smartwatch and provides connected care. It offers automatic collision notification and SOS emergency assistance. Blue Link also provides regular email alerts on the driver’s driving performance, allows the user to remotely access the car to lock or unlock it and helps the user to track the vehicle in case it is stolen.
BMW – The MINI Augmented Vision Glass: This device is designed for use both in-vehicle and out-of-vehicle purposes via the MINI app. A MINI augmented vision glass offers navigation information, speed limit, and related travel information for users via two stereoscopic HD displays.
The Ford S-Max: The S-Max Concept’s system uses Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch to provide wireless access. It allows car-to-car communication and a seat that constantly monitors the heart rate of the driver. In case of the driver experiencing a heart attack, the system will notify emergency services and navigate the driver to stop the vehicle at a safe point. Beyond heart monitoring, the S-Max Concept is also powered to monitor glucose levels using sensors and transmitter fobs.
In recent developments, Mercedes, BMW, and Nissan have also developed special applications that monitor speed, fuel efficiency and a driver’s fatigue level via heart rate sensors using one or other wearable technology.
The vehicle industry is already influenced by wearable technology and connected smart IoT devices. Some use cases which are technologically supported by the growing permissibility of wearable technology includes a vehicle that can keep a track of its user’s everyday activities and follow the routine with least driver interference. A vehicle may also begin making smart decisions regarding time spent at a store or in the office or at a party and self-drive to reach your location the moment you are ready to leave. Clearly, wearable technology promises a panorama of new, value-added services, ushering us faster towards the IoT age.
(Featured image is for representational purpose and has been sourced from https://pixabay.com/en/watch-car-vehicle-automobile-916395/)