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Nissan's futuristic smartwatch links car's machinery and driver's biology

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Nissan watch
Nissan watch

With everyone in the tech industry clamoring to get a piece of the nascent wearables market, perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that automakers want in on the action, too. Today, Nissan is announcing that it's working on a concept to connect drivers with their sports cars in heretofore unexplored ways. The company says it's drawing from its experience on the racetrack to provide non-professionals with biometric data it hopes will make them perform better behind the wheel.

The design communicates speed, both literally and figuratively

The Nissan Nismo watch bears the name of the company's performance division, and the design communicates speed, both literally and figuratively. The device connects to your car over Bluetooth Low Energy using a compatible smartphone app, and gives the driver access to his or her top and average speeds, fuel efficiency, and maintenance schedule. There's also an absurd-sounding social component that measures your interactions across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, if accurately measuring your "social speed" is an important consideration for your next watch purchase.

In a promotional video (above), the company shows how measuring the driver's heart rate can provide useful feedback when they're on the road, in this case by warning them that they're driving too fast. And while the speed limit would probably provide a better gauge in this particular regard, Nissan says it hopes to use similar biometrics data in the future to help drivers to avoid fatigue and "get in the zone."

So far, there aren't many specifics on the watch itself — Nissan says it will be available in three colors (black, red, and white), and have a snap closure, two control buttons, and a lithium-ion battery that lasts seven days on a charge. There's no word on pricing or availability, but given that Nissan is shipping the watch in a case made from rubber scraped off of race tracks, we aren't expecting it to be cheap.