This year’s Consumer Electronics Show is still going on in Las Vegas and that means more news on smartwatches and other wearable devices. Would you believe a watch that can start your car? BlackBerry addicts will soon be able to access their BBM alerts from their smartwatches, making it possible for them to never leave the office behind. Plus, there’s a good-looking new smartwatch at a budget-friendly price.
LG Launches Audi-Only Smartwatch
With the current explosion in the number of smartwatches on the market, it seems inevitable that we would see specialization set in and that’s just what was announced at CES by LG on Wednesday—a watch only for Audi owners. At the LG demonstration for the device, the super-exclusive smartwatch was used to start the engine of a Audi Prologue with a mere tap.
The smartwatch, which has a similar look to that of the LG G Watch, is powered by Google’s Android Wear OS but also contains an extra layer of UI from Audi that allows it to connect to the auto via NFC. This is one of the more attractive smartwatches, with a metal face and leather strap. In addition to the usual smartwatch features like monitoring the user’s heart rate and temperature, this LG device can lock an Audi, control climate settings and operate the stereo.
The obvious question potential buyers are likely to have about this smartwatch is security. How likely is the watch to be hacked by car thieves? The answer to that question will probably determine the success of the LG Audi smartwatch.
BlackBerry Brings BBM to Smartwatches
While BlackBerry has seen its fortunes fall over the last few years, the company does have one product that keeps gaining in popularity. BlackBerry’s messaging service BBM registered 140 million new subscribers in 2014 and expects it to bring in $100 million this year.
At a press event on Wednesday at CES, BlackBerry CEO John Chen announced that the firm would be bringing BBM to Android Wear smartwatches including the models from Samsung Gear S. This is good news for those addicted to BlackBerry’s messaging service because now they can view their BBM messages and alerts from their wearable devices without having to look at their phones.
Alcatel OneTouch Watch Targets “Affordable” Market
As Garmin was introducing a pair of smartwatches for adventurers (and anyone who gets lost a lot) that start at $400+, Alcatel is aiming for a much larger market.
The new Alcatel OneTouch Watch works with either iOS or Android and has the usual sensors for tracking fitness plus apps. Basically, the OneTouch does the things you want a smartwatch to do and does them for $149. For that price, you get a very attractive device with a round face and your choice of bands. You can pick one up starting in March.
The Consumer Electronics Show continues through Friday in Las Vegas.