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Controlling a Hyundai with an Android Wear smartwatch at CES 2015

Controlling a Hyundai with an Android Wear smartwatch at CES 2015

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Automakers are latching onto the wearables trend, integrating them with cars any way they can — Nissan, BMW, and a variety of others have shown their visions in recent years of how a smartwatch of the future might work on four wheels. Hyundai demonstrated Google Glass integration with its BlueLink connected car platform last year — not a hot topic anymore, considering how quiet Google's been on that front — so this year, it has Android Wear integration instead.

Hyundai BlueLink 2

The watch app, which will be available early this year, duplicates much of the functionality already available on the existing BlueLink smartphone app: you can start the engine remotely, stop it, flash the lights, lock and unlock the doors, and find the car from afar if you've lost it in a parking lot. It can't do turn-by-turn navigation to the car directly on the watch, but it'll let you send the car's location out to Google Maps on your phone so you can navigate from there.

If you've got an Android Wear watch and a Hyundai (it supports existing models already on the road with BlueLink installed), this new functionality is a no-brainer — but it's certainly not something I'd consider buying a smartwatch for. All of the capabilities are already available in the phone app, which is just a pocket away — and in my testing, functions like remote engine starts and light flashes took long enough that you wouldn't want to sit there staring at your watch the entire time.

Still, if starting your car with your watch isn't the future, I'm not sure what is.

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