Mercedes-Benz has teamed up with Pebble Technology, a Palo Alto, Calif., smart watch company, to create apps that will help driving safety — apps that will be right on a driver’s wrist. The German car maker has announced it will reveal a version of its Digital DriveStyle app specifically designed for the watch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early in the new year, as Andrew Maclean writes for Drive.com.au.
The Pebble smart watch is a Bluetooth-enabled wristwatch designed to pair with smartphones and to bring custom watchfaces, notifications and apps to a person’s wrist, as Pebble Technology’s website notes. Mercedes-Benz says that when a driver is inside the vehicle, the Pebble watch can vibrate to alert him or her to real-time hazards such as auto accidents, road-work zones or vehicle breakdowns, Maclean reports. And via the watch, drivers can access such information as their vehicle’s fuel level, location and whether the doors are locked, even when away from the vehicle.
The Pebble watch acts as a second screen for a smartphone, Wendy Leavitt writes for Fleet Owner. Watch owners can customize their Pebbles by using three buttons to activate Digital DriveStyle features such as reporting hazards, auto-routing, Siri activation, remote-controlling media, and displaying traffic conditions in the area, Leavitt adds. Mercedes-Benz’s partnership with Pebble Technology gives the car maker early access to releases of app-programming interfaces and new hardware so that it can develop integrated applications. Leavitt says the watch even has foreseeable uses in the trucking industry:
Can commercial truck versions of this technology be far behind? Imagine checking tire inflation, oil pressure, fuel and DEF levels, cargo temperature, traffic advisories… all from your watch.
Pebble Technology is a recent startup, launched via a record-setting Kickstarter campaign that more than 85,000 people backed for a total of more than $10 million. The Pebble is waterproof down to 5 ATM, in both fresh and saltwater; can be read even in direct sunlight, with an e-paper display; is backlit for reading in the dark; and delivers texts and important notifications. Its rechargeable battery runs for five to seven days and uses up an extra 5-10% of your smartphone’s battery daily. In addition to the Mercedes-Benz app, there are many other apps for Pebble, which has an open platform. The smart watch sells for $150.