According to an interview published by ZDNet, researchers at Ford are ready to embrace wearable Health Tech products. “As long as it has Bluetooth connectivity we can connect to it like we can connect to a phone, we can leverage our SYNC platform,” said Gary Strumolo, Manager of Vehicle Design and Infotronics.
This strategy makes a lot of sense. Car makers are looking for ways to make the driving experience more personalized and safer. There are all sorts of ways to monitor the driver and other occupants, from various sensors to inward-facing cameras. But if the driver can provide his or her own identifying and monitoring device, that makes the car makers’ job somewhat easier. All they have to do is connect to the device’s data stream, and their in business.
By identifying the individual driver, they can automatically adjust the seat, mirrors, and other systems to match their preferences. This also can make it possible to identify a “stranger” behind the wheel, which could give the owner the opportunity to limit the car’s use, or even shut it down completely through an app on their phone. The physiological data of heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, and other information can help the car monitor whether or not the driver is alert or drowsy. If there is a sudden change in the readings, the car could sense if the driver was unconscious or injured — perhaps as the result of an accident — and could automatically summon help.
Linking wearable Health Tech devices to a car’s information systems could clearly add to both convenience and safety. And it could mean that car builders would have one less set of components to include in their designs.