Without a doubt, the most impressive thing that BMW showed at CES this year was a driverless M235i drifting flawlessly around a wet track at Las Vegas Speedway. However, that bit of robotic helmsmanship wasn't the only trick the German company had up its sleeve. Or, more to the point, on its wrist.

Taking a page from rival Mercedes-Benz, BMW demonstrated how a "smartwatch," in this case the Samsung Galaxy Gear, could be made to function usefully with a vehicle, in this case the BMW i3. Calling it a "research application," BMW showed off its BMW i Remote App on the Galaxy Gear; the app gives information about state of battery charge, available range and whether or not all the doors and windows are closed or open. Perhaps more useful still, the watch can be used to send a destination to the i3's navigation unit, adjust the climate control in preparation for a trip and can recognize voice commands. Nifty stuff, if not world-shaking, that could help tech-obsessed luxury buyers take a second look at the upcoming BMW EV.

Take a closer look at the watch in action below, or read thru the BMW press release.
Show full PR text
Special connection: BMW i3 and the Samsung Galaxy Gear.

The rapid spread of smartphones means that the internet, apps and digital services have long since become established elements of daily life. And smartwatches like the new Samsung Galaxy Gear are driving this trend ever onwards. These devices are worn like wristwatches and display information from a linked smartphone directly onto the user's wrist. In Las Vegas BMW became the world's first carmaker to present vehicle functions on the electronic wristwatch as part of a research application. The Samsung Galaxy Gear with BMW i Remote App functions has similar attributes to the BMW i Remote App, which keeps drivers connected with their BMW i3 at all times and also works efficiently to provide them with the assistance they need outside the car. The Samsung Galaxy Gear with BMW i Remote App functions offers information on the battery charge and available range of the first all-electric premium model in the compact class, as well as any departure times that have been inputted. The research application also shows whether the windows, doors and sunroof are closed and allows users to send a navigation destination to the vehicle or adjust the on-board climate in preparation for a journey – with the option of spoken commands via S Voice, Samsung's speech recognition assistant.

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