Jaguar Land Rover has been fairly hot on wearable tech – after its biometric tracking of Wimbledon last year – and it's taken to the Wearable Tech Show in London to show off a wristband key for its latest SUV.
The F-PACE comes with an option for a second wearable key, which comes in the form of a waterproof wristband. The idea is that after you've driven your F-PACE to your local surf spot or ski slope you lock your keys inside, by touching the wristband against the Jaguar logo on the trunk.
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An RFID sensor in the band – which requires no power to operate – will then assume control of your car's locking system, rendering the keys inside useless. That means that if someone broke into the car, they'd not be able to drive off using your abandoned fob.
The wristband is suitable for all temperatures and activities – Jaguar says – and enables you to get on with having fun, without worrying keeping your keys safe.
It's one of the more innovative wearable/automotive tie-ins we've seen, and the F-PACE also has the usual accompanying Apple Watch app that enables you to sound the horn, unlock the car and turn on climate control remotely.
While that app arguably solves the "problems" faced by people who can't find their car in a car park or wait five minutes for their car to cool down, the wristband is a much more focused solution to the frustration of carrying a bulky car key when you go for a run or hit the beach.
And Leon Hurst, head of product marketing for Jaguar, told us that in effect, the F-PACE was actually a huge wearable thanks to its array of connected tech.
"The car is absolutely jam-packed with sensors, it's the ultimate wearable. There are 20 cameras, radar and ultrasonics, and that's just the vision sensors alone. There are 10 sensors on each wheel and there are 100 in the vehicle. It's the ultimate IoT object, it terms of it being in the environment and it has so many sensors. It's a probe proceeding through the world," he said.
As well as the wearable elements of the F-PACE, it's packed with so many sensors that the car would produce 5-10TB of data per month, if it were all logged and stored. The F-PACE will even look for minute changes in your driving style that point to you being tired, before prompting you to pay attention or take a break.
It's all part of a bigger focus on technology for Jaguar Land Rover.
"The computing systems in the car will continue to evolve," continued Hurst. "Then there's IoT connectivity, which is broken in two parts. One part is the customer using a wearable to open the car or remotely control elements like the temperature, but there's data analytics and useful information for diagnostics. These cars are an investment that you maintain. So the servicing is a big part."
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