CES 2015: Will Smartwatches That Talk to Cars Be the Next Trend?

Jan 09, 2015 09:00 AM EST | Jordan Ecarma

Watches haven't been a staple since smartphones became popular, but they may be on their way back as a way to communicate with your car.

At a CES demonstration this week, BMW's bright orange i3 was directed by a Samsung Gear S smartwatch. A BMW representative could order the car to drive out of a garage and come pick him up. The vehicle's sensors made it too smart to hit a person stepping out in front of it, and crashing the car into a wall wasn't successful either thanks to its collision avoidance system.

The watch used a BMW app to direct the car remotely through an Internet connection. At a command, the i3 can find its own parking spot and back into it.

Using ActiveAssist technology, the special i3 is equipped with four laser scanners that together give it a 360-degree view of its environment, CNET reported.  

On Tuesday, Audi demonstrated a wearable that could communicate with an autonomous A7 prototype, Mashable reported. The smartwatch can unlock the vehicle, as Audi showed in its presentation.

"However, it's unclear whether that wearable device communication will include things such as controlling the vehicle's engine, windows, temperature and the like," Mashable noted.

The Audi smartwatch comes from a collaboration between the German automaker and LG, according to Engadget. The carmaker's Prologue auto-pilot concept vehicle drove itself an impressive 550 miles from San Francisco to this year's CES in Las Vegas. 

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