Nissan has launched Nismo, a smartwatch that monitors the performance of the vehicle as well as the driver.
Just like a traditional smartwatch, the Nissan Nismo measures the user’s heart rate, temperature and other biometrics.
But it also allows users to keep an eye on their car’s performance – including average speeds and fuel consumption.
Experts say that the watch could be an important step towards greater connectivity in cars.
“Connectivity is the new battleground for car manufacturers,” said Chas Hallett, editor-in-chief of What Car?
“In-car internet is coming and now with consumer electronics focusing on watch-based connections, Nissan is getting ahead of the game and joining the two together very cleverly.”
The Nismo watch can be connected to the car’s on-board computer system to allow users to monitor vehicle telematics and performance data. Users can also receive tailored messages from Nissan via the gadget.
It was unveiled ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show, which runs until September 22.
“Wearable technology is fast becoming the next big thing and we want to take advantage of this innovative technology,” said Gareth Dunsmore, marketing communications general manager at Nissan, Europe.
A glut of smartwatches has hit the market recently, including Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and Sony’s Smartwatch 2.
Car-connected watches could be even more useful than those offered by consumer electronic firms, thinks Chas Hallett.
“Imagine if you could heat up your car on a cold day before you got into it or shut the roof of your convertible when it started raining and it was parked outside,” he said.
The Nissan Leaf electric car already allows users to interact with it via their mobile phone and such functionality should be available in the firm’s next-generation watches.
The current gadget is one of the first products to come out of its Nismo laboratory, which captures live biometric and telematics data from Nissan racing cars and their drivers.
The lab plans to use electrocardiograms (ECG) and electroencephalograms (EEG) in the future to capture a range of heart and brainwave data.
The eventual aim would be to create wearable technology for drivers that can spot fatigue, monitor drivers’ levels of concentration and emotions and record hydration levels.
The Nismo, which comes in three colors and has a battery life of around a week, can be controlled by two buttons on the screen.