BMW i3 and the Samsung Galaxy Gear are the perfect match

Article by Anita Panait, on January 14, 2014

Vehicles and smartwatches do match, the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show has proved. During the CES 2014, BMW became the first carmaker in the world to present vehicle functions on Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch as part of a research application. The new Samsung Galaxy Gear is a wristwatch that displays information from a linked smartphone.

The Samsung Galaxy Gear with BMW i Remote App functions feature similar attributes to the BMW i Remote App that keeps drivers connected with their BMW i3 at all times and provides them with the assistance they need even when they outside the car. The Samsung Galaxy Gear with BMW i Remote App functions could provide information on the battery charge and available range of the premium electric vehicle.

It could also provide information on any departure times that have been inputted. It also could show whether the BMW i3’s windows, doors and sunroof are closed and could enable users to send a navigation destination to the vehicle or adjust the on-board climate to get ready for a cruise. These can be done through spoken commands via  Samsung’s speech recognition assistant, S Voice.

Designers had a great freedom in shaping the new BMW i3, thanks to the LifeDrive architecture and BMW eDrive drive technology. In fact, these technologies allowed the BMW i3 to boast of an appearance to provide a memorable sense of space and driving experience.

The new BMW i3 is an agile creation suitable for urban, as evidenced by its proportions and dimensions: 3,999 mm in length, 1,775 mm in width and 1,578 mm in height. This is further underlined by the fact that the new BMW i3 has short overhangs. On the other hand, the lightness and low-weight nature of the BMW i3 are underscored by its large glass surfaces and the visible carbon structures.

Interestingly, the new i3 has no B-pillars, which mean that the driver and passengers could easily enter or exit the vehicle. This is made possible by employing CFRP in the construction of the passenger compartment.

Of course, the i3 comes with some signature features of BMW i models, like the "black belt" that flows from the bonnet, over the roof and into the rear end. Another signature feature is the so-called "stream flow" sweep of the side contours, allowing the BMW i3 to have larger side window surfaces at the rear end.

On the front end, the BMW i3 is marked by a dynamically contoured apron as well as by the reinterpreted the BMW kidney grille. The front end also features headlights bordered by U-shaped LED units. These U-shaped LED units are also found on the rear, now integrated as "floating" elements into the i3’s large glazed tailgate.

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Special connection: BMW i3 and Samsung Galaxy Gear

The BMW i3 – with its integrated SIM card – is the world’s first fully connected electrically powered car; in no other model will you find such a high level of interaction between the driver, vehicle and outside world. The presentation of the BMW i3 brought with it the debut appearance of the BMW i Remote App, which allows drivers to share information with the vehicle at any time via their smartphone. They can check whether the windows are shut, for example, or lock the car remotely. This is demonstrated via the Samsung Galaxy Gear with BMW i Remote App functions.

The arrival of smartphones has changed our everyday lives for the long term, with internet and digital services now something we take for granted. Smartwatches like the Samsung Galaxy Gear can further boost this trend and fundamentally change the way we use mobile devices all over again. The Samsung Galaxy Gear is worn on the wrist like a watch and cleverly complements the linked smartphone. Users can view important information on the smartwatch without having to take their smartphone out of their pocket, unlock a screen or enter a code.

The BMW i Remote App research application developed by BMW greets the Samsung Galaxy Gear user’s first glance with not just the time, but also the BMW i3’s range on electric power, battery charge available and any inputted departure times. Using the Samsung Galaxy Gear’s touch display to click on the figures sent by the application opens a sub-menu containing more detailed information, which is presented in the hallmark classy colours and style of BMW i. Another sub-menu informs the user of the vehicle’s current status, such as if any of the doors, windows or the sunroof are open – data which is also offered by the BMW i Remote App. The research application additionally enables users to send navigation destinations to their vehicle and to regulate the climate on board – with the option of using voice commands via S Voice, Samsung’s speech recognition system. All of which provides a fine complement to the smartwatch’s ability to deliver information quickly, directly and in real time.

The Samsung Galaxy Gear with BMW i Remote App functions research prototype represents an excellent smartphone add-on for linking customers seamlessly with their BMW mobility ecosystem. At the same time, the application is proof of how quickly BMW ConnectedDrive can and will react to the rapid pace of innovation in the entertainment and infotainment sectors through the introduction of clever solutions.

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