Following Samsung's reveal of its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the world awaits Apple's foray into the wearable technology space. Oddly, the next smartwatch hitting the headlines doesn't hail from Silicon Valley, but from a Japanese automaker. Today at the Frankfurt auto show, Nissan unveiled its NISMO smartwatch concept -- a device that promises to connect driver to car in an unprecedented way.
Nissan has been keen to bulk up its NISMO performance arm, much like AMG with Mercedes. With Japan's second-largest carmaker increasing its sporting breath -- including a NISMO version of its manic GT-R down to a mildly hopped up Juke -- the racy side of Nissan seeks exposure. Who thought it would come in the form of a watch?
The basic premise is for drivers to gather crucial performance data directly to the watch. It shows average speed and fuel consumption, vehicle speed, user heart rate, and other telematics. Exactly why you would want these on your wrist when most cars record this type of information in the dashboard anyway isn't clear. But as further performance statistics become recordable, including in-depth fitness features -- such as core body temperature and hydration levels -- and "brainwave monitoring," documenting driver concentration, these attributes could prove highly useful for the professional racer seeking improved fitness to help their on-track performance. (For an amateur, downloading to a computer via the watch is far simpler than downloading directly from the car's data system -- if it even has one.) Nissan claim to be working on these features.
The NISMO Watch also tracks "user's social performance across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram via Nissan's proprietary Social Speed software." (Whatever that means.) It arrives in a box made from tires and rubber (because what else would a racer demand), and can, of course, just be utilized as a fancy way of telling the time. While work still needs to be done to make the NISMO smartwatch a necessity for car enthusiasts, it does open our mind to the way of future.