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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      Stephen
      • 11 Months Ago
      "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." Sweet, I've always wanted to pay extra money for something that tells me exactly what the car already tells me!!
      Doug
      • 11 Months Ago
      Of course Tesla owners are already hacking the Galaxy Gear to work with the Model S. http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/25912-Galaxy-Gear-App
      diffrunt
      • 11 Months Ago
      Shades of Dick Tracy 1946 conception- perception-- creation
      Josephine Picard
      • 11 Months Ago
      I like the Pebble too and I think the great thing about it is that it works with both Android and iOS devices. But it doesn´t have all the features that the Samsung Galaxy Gear has, like voice commands or touch screen: http://versus.com/en/pebble-vs-samsung-galaxy-gear
      Scooter
      • 11 Months Ago
      Went into a Best Buy and checked out the Galaxy section. The sales lady spent about 10 minutes trying to convince me a "smart watch" was something I needed. Funny thing about smart watches is there is actually no real use for one. Might as well get a "beeper" while I'm at it. Basically smart watches just do what anybody with a functional brain could do. Alerts to your phone? Your phone is already a mobile call/texting/alert device... Camera technology that can be found in $20 cell phones? Come on! Checking your windows and doors to see if you closed them? Wouldn't a click of your key fob tell you that? Or quick glance at your windows? Vehicle charge level? Your getting in the car anyways, you'll eventually get that information from the car itself. Adjust the climate control ahead of a trip? Are you kidding me? Would it be that hard to reach the conveniently placed a/c controls while in the car? Smart watches for dumb people.
        ElectricAvenue
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Scooter
        I think you're missing part of the point of remote control. You can double check that the car is locked and charging (for example) when it's not in sight - quite common if you're plugged in at a public charger. You can turn the climate control on with adequate lead time - quite necessary if you want it the right temperature and it's either really cold or really hot out. And so on. Can you live without these conveniences? Duh, of course. Does that make them useless? No.
        Spec
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Scooter
        Yeah, you are really missing the point of these features. Check the charge level remotely . . . because then you'll know if you should leave now or if you should wait a while more for your car to get more charge. Pre-heat/pre-cool remotely . . . because this way you are able to pre-heat/pre-cool using AC power instead of draining valuable battery power.
        Actionable Mango
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Scooter
        "Adjust the climate control ahead of a trip? Are you kidding me?" Sounds awesome to me. It would be nice to turn on the heater and defrost remotely in the comfort of your home during freezing winters, as opposed to getting into the freezing car and sitting there in the freezing cold waiting for the windows to de-ice. Conversely, it would be nice on a 110 degree day not to get into the solar oven that is a car, where leather and vinyl seats can get painfully hot. Perhaps you live in a mild climate where neither of these are an issue, but I promise you there are many people who do live in these types of climates and would benefit from remote control.
      Mami
      • 11 Months Ago
      Pebble is the better smart watch.
        Koenigsegg
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Mami
        Yep and i dont even use my pebble for alerts or anything. I just wear it because it looks cool and for the watch faces.
      MDD
      • 11 Months Ago
      Another German Auto maker gravitating to junk tech.
      bK
      • 11 Months Ago
      No thanks,
      • 11 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      • 11 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      Jmaister
      • 11 Months Ago
      seems BMW still likes Mr. Bangle.
      Spec
      • 11 Months Ago
      The fact that it is a watch is gimmicky. But the fact that modern EVs can communicate digitally with web browsers, cellphones, tablets, etc. is very important. It enables many important features such as determining the charge state, turning on pre-heating/pre-cooling, programming when charging should start/stop, etc.
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