Audi Smartwatch – Coming with new Audi Q7

12 Jan by vichu

Audi Smartwatch – Coming with new Audi Q7

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Audi showed off a lot of smart automotive plans at CES 2015, but the subset of Audi fans and Android users were probably more enchanted by the car maker’s smartwatch venture. Unfortunately, there has been some confusion on whether the company is planning to bank on Android Wear as initially presumed or on LG’s webOS smartwatch venture, which was rumored a few months back. The slightly good news is that Audi is actually banking on both, and hinted that the Apple Watch might be joining too. But the rest of the story isn’t as simple as that.
The bad news, at least for Android lovers: the attention-grabbing, premium-looking that Audi initially showed off is the one that ran on Open webOS, which probably explains the three buttons that would be considered superfluous for an Android Wear smartwatch. Even so, those buttons are quite gorgeous, reflecting the premium design of the watch itself as well as Audi’s attention to quality. webOS is also quite a different beast, utilizing swiping movements around the perimeter of the circular watch face for navigation, in addition to taps on the screen and clicking on the physical buttons. Of course, the user interface presentation is quite different from Android Wear, making smarter use of LG’s round smartwatch than Android Wear’s more generic approach.
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Going deeper inside, this LG-made smartwatch boasts of NFC connectivity, which isn’t just a fancy gimmick for quick unlocking. Compared to WiFi or LTE, NFC offers more secure identification that industry standards require, making sure that it is really the owner, or at least the wearer, that is accessing the car’s features. The central arm rest provides both NFC identification and wireless charging, though Audi says it is still trying to work out the ergonomic design of the features. It is also looking into Bluetooth secure identification to make the system more open to other devices, particularly smartwatches that don’t have NFC inside.

The good news for Android lovers is that the Android Wear version is more generic, usable on any Android Wear smartwatch of choice, which already exists in the market compared to LG’s webOS prototype. The bad news (again!) is that, given how Android Wear works, it will need to work with a smartphone, unlike the LG smartwatch that has its own cellular connection and can run independently of any mobile device. But the good news (yet again) is that the core functionality you will find in the webOS version is also in here, just with less fanciness.

Setting up authorized devices is done through a web-based management tool and would-be owners can pair up smartwatches, smartphones, and tablets for Audi’s Secure Key system. As to when that will happen, Audi is keeping mum aside from a vague 2015 launch. Another good news for Android Wear users is that the app will be a free download when the time comes, while Audi still isn’t sure when the webOS smartwatch will be available, which all depends on LG’s manufacturing schedule.

posted by +vishalsrinivasan

Byvichu

Love to code and Love to learn. A passionate technology lover who likes to sit with laptop even for weeks :D

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