Ford Motor Company announced last week the opening of a new laboratory at the Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Michigan: the “Automotive Wearable Experience Lab.”
The lab has been opened in order to explore the possible applications of integrating smart wearable devices such as watches, glasses, and fitness bands with automotive systems.
While the idea of pairing wearable smart technology with an automobile might at first sound utterly superfluous, a release from Ford cites some truly useful possibilities. For instance, Ford’s Lane-Keep Assist feature could be fed data from a connected wearable device – a smartwatch – which suggests that the driver is somewhat underslept. The system could then re-calibrate based on that information so as to be more sensitive to weaving within the car’s lane. Other data, such as pulse, blood pressure, and blood glucose, could similarly impact the operation of systems like adaptive cruise control, Ford’s Blind Spot Information System, and other semi-autonomous functions.
In short, wearable smart technology could constitute yet another component of an informed, well-connected vehicle. Ford is even working on developing a unique dealership experience for smartglasses, which can automatically display detailed information about products as a customer walks through a Ford showroom.
“The potential in this space is endless,” says Ford Global Manager for Vehicle Design and Infotronics Gary Strumolo. “We’re evaluating many different wearable devices and applications – everything from helping to keep Ford drivers healthier and more aware behind the wheel to offering an enhanced customer experience at our dealerships.”