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Please: don’t drive and look at Nissan’s Nismo smartwatch

It seems like everyone is building a smartwatch these days. Take Nissan, for example. Yes, the car-maker. On Monday, Nissan announced a new smartwatch device, the Nismo Watch, ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month.

Nismo watch

I’ll admit the concept device shown looks nice, but I don’t like the idea of looking often at my wrist while driving. Nissan says drivers can view average speed and fuel consumption readings as well as vehicle telematics; something better suited for the dash or a Heads Up Display (HUD), in my opinion. The watch can also “track and rate the user’s social performance across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram via Nissan’s proprietary Social Speed software.” Uh, OK.

That aside, I do like the idea of capturing driver data during a ride though: the Nismo Watch can get heart rate data through a wireless monitor. It can also connect to the car over Bluetooth Low Energy and get messages from Nissan.

Nissan expects to add more features over time. It has already suggested these for the future:

  • ECG (Electrocardiogram) – to measure the intervals of the R-R rhythm of the heart, and identify early fatigue;
  • EEG (Electroencephalogram) Brainwave – to monitor the drivers’ levels of concentration and emotions, and help athletes to get ‘In The Zone’;
  • Skin Temperature – to record core body temperature and hydration levels

These make sense to me because they give the car some additional data, possibly changing the vehicle’s performance to compensate for driver conditions. And identification of early fatigue could improve driver safety.

Using a watch or other wearable to provide more driver information to the car is a smart idea. Putting real-time car data on the wrist while driving, though? Sorry Nissan, I’m not sold on that idea.

4 Responses to “Please: don’t drive and look at Nissan’s Nismo smartwatch”

  1. Nicholas Paredes

    Having proposed a safe driving system for glass, that actually began with some thoughts I had while working at Nokia, I somewhat disagree. How is this different than looking at the dash? How is it different than looking at the Google Glass view? Focus may be one issue, but beyond that I cannot think of any.

    Given Google’s policy of no advertising in Glass — not at all dissimilar from Apple’s anti-competitive policies — I had thought that a iWatch may be the best place to begin an effort in on the road data.


    Nismo watch is for Nissan’s performance cars ! so drivers must be super qualified to read all sort of information and pilot at full speed !
    Agree with your concerns about reading the watch while driving …
    But a nice project with some body sensors included, even better !

    To try the watch you also need to try the car. Will Gigaom attend Francfort car show ?