More than 33 years after popular American TV show Knight Rider showed David Hasselhoff talking to his car KITT, Volvo and Microsoft are launching a wearable-enabled voice-control system.
Now, Volvo owners will be able to instruct their car via Microsoft Band 2 to perform tasks such as setting navigation, starting the heater, locking doors, flashing lights or sounding the horn via Volvo's mobile app "Volvo on Call" and a connected wearable device. The last two seem to be spot on for car-owners who routinely lose their car in crowded parking areas. The highlight of this tech is that the person need not to be inside the car to communicate with it.
In November 2015, Volvo and Microsoft announced collaboration on the first automotive application of HoloLens technology. HoloLens is the world's first fully untethered holographic computer, which could be used in redefine how customers first encounter, explore and even buy cars. Now, the two companies are delivering remote voice control for Volvo cars via Microsoft Band 2.
"Volvo is intent on making the car experience as easy and convenient as possible by utilising the latest technology in the most relevant and inspiring ways. With voice control, we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible with digital assistant functionalities," said Thomas Muller, Vice-President, Electrics/ Electronics and E-Propulsion, Volvo Car Group.
Only Volvo vehicles enabled with the "Volvo on Call" app will have this feature, expected from late 2016. That means the tech will be available only in the XC90 SUV and the newly-unveiled S90 sedan.