Hyundai may not have a smartwatch, but they have developed a very smart app for one.
Most people are well aware of the Hyundai Motor Company. A Korean based automotive manufacturer known for its small economy cars and motorcycles. What you may not know is that Hyundai is involved in a number of industries, including telecommunications with smartphones and smartwatches.
The Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company was established in 1947, becoming the Hyundai Motor Company some 20 years later. They first worked with the Ford Motor Company to produce the Cortina. Later they developed their own car, the budget friendly Pony, which was critically acclaimed for its small size and great fuel economy.
By the 21st century, Hyundai began focusing on building a better image, using a lineup of high quality cars. Their strategy worked, and they have continued to build gain consumer confidence with a solid reputation. It is now seen as one of the most trusted brands in the world.
What are Hyundai electronics?
Only available in certain parts of the world, Hyundai Electronics is a subsidiary of the car manufacturer. What they produce is affected on the region they are located, and can include televisions, DVD players and small appliances. At one point, the UK based Hyundai electronics division was working on developing a smartwatch, until it was suddenly discontinued with notice or reason.
There is also a Hyundai IBT, a subsidiary of Hyundai electronics that specialises in the development and production of electronic displays. This includes LCD screens and monitors, digitally enhanced signs and interactive boards. Their offices are located in Korea, where they have been operating for over 29 years. The focus at this time is on creating industrial displays that are used by businesses and corporations all around the world.
Hyundai smartphones and smartwatches
The Hyundai Motor Company is also a producer of a line of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablet. The latest technologies, like an Android 4.4 operating system, are used by Hyundai to guarantee that their mobile devices are as dependable as their cars are.
In 2009, the tech world waited in anticipation for the Hyundai MB-910 wristwatch phone. More than a smartwatch, the MB-910 promised to be a phone that stood alone on your wrist. Expected to be a tri-band GSM phone with a 1.5 inch display, Hyundai declared that it was going to be a second, separate phone for the wearer.
Other features touted included a 132 x 176 pixel display that was touch sensitive, Bluetooth connectivity, multimedia player with 128MB of memory, email client and of course basic watch features. As good as it sounds, the Hyundai MB-910 was never made available for retail sale, and the UK mobile division of Hyundai responsible for producing it was shut down. Since that time, there has been no further word from Hyundai about developing a smartwatch, although they have entered the competitive field of applications for one.Back to top
What is the Hyundai Blue Link smartwatch app?
There are many facets involved in smartwatch technology. There is the hardware need, operating system like Android Wear, and the software. After all of that comes the apps, where hundreds of small companies have the opportunity to develop an application for the smartwatch that everyone will want to have, such as WhatsApp.
This past March, Hyundai launched an app of their own. The Blue Link is a voice recognition-enabled app that is now available through Google Play for Android Wear, and should be ready for iOS when the Apple Watch is released on the 24th of April. Cloud based, the Blue Link app lets the user command its car to perform a number of functions, such as start remotely.
In order for the smartwatch app to work, it will have to be paired with a smartphone using Bluetooth. The smartphone should have the Blue Link app loaded on it to engage with the smartphone. This will allow a Hyundai car owner to access a number of remote functions from almost anywhere, as long as their smartphone has Bluetooth and an internet connection.
For now, Blue Link is only available on certain Hyundai models, like the Genesis, Sonata and Azera, manufactured for sale in the United States. These cars have been equipped to support the Blue Link since 2013. To use the app, the smartwatch wearer can either tap the app icon or use voice command by selecting the microphone icon on the wearable. The commands it understands include remote engine start, remote engine stop, door unlock and lock, flash lights, honk horn and call for roadside assistance.
Instead of jumping back into the highly competitive smartwatch market, Hyundai circumvented it and developed an app that smartwatch wearers could make good use of. That is as long as they are also driving a Hyundai vehicle. It is likely that other manufacturers of popular car brands will follow suit to cash in on the smartwatch wave, and not limit theirs to one country.
Are there any other apps for cars?
There are already a number of different applications available to enhance your car driving experience. There are apps that can direct you to the nearest, and least expensive, fill-up station, navigation apps to help you get around without getting lost, and even a smartphone app that can record the activity inside of your vehicle just like a dash cam does.
It is not surprising that with so much attention on wearables, especially in the form of a smartwatch, that technically inclined businesses will be looking for ways to profit from it. In Hyundai’s case they chose a brand specific app that gives their new cars a unique selling feature.