More than 33 years after the popular American TV show Knight Rider showed David ‘The Hof’ Hasselhoff talking to his car KITT, Volvo and Microsoft are launching a wearable-enabled voice control system.
Volvo owners will be able to talk to their car via their Microsoft Band 2, allowing them to instruct their vehicle to perform tasks including, setting the navigation, starting the heater, locking the doors, flashing the lights or sounding the horn via Volvo’s mobile app Volvo on Call and the connected wearable device.
Voice Control in Action
Volvo and Microsoft Collaboration
In November 2015 Volvo and Microsoft announced their high-profile collaboration with the first automotive application of HoloLens technology. HoloLens is the world’s first fully untethered holographic computer, which could be used in future to redefine how customers first encounter, explore and even buy car. Now the two companies are delivering remote voice control for Volvo cars via the Microsoft Band 2 as another proof-point in their ambition to jointly develop next generation automotive technologies.
“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,” – Thomas Müller, Vice President Electrics/ Electronics & E-Propulsion at Volvo Car Group.
In recent times Volvo Cars’ has begun to focus closely on innovations outside the traditional automotive arena, keen on opening up potential partnerships and new business models.
“When innovating we are not interested in technology for the sake of technology. If a technology does not make a customer’s life easier, better, safer or more fun, we don’t use it. Let’s face it – who hasn’t dreamed of talking to their car via a wrist worn wearable?” – Klas Bendrik Senior Vice President and Group Chief Information Officer at Volvo Car Group.
“Our ongoing partnership with Volvo continues to bring ground breaking technology to enhance the automotive experience. Together with Volvo, we’re just beginning to understand the potential that technology has to improve driver safety and productivity.”” – Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of business development at Microsoft. “
The new possibility to connect to a Volvo with voice control through Microsoft Band 2 will be available for customers in Volvo on Call enabled markets in spring 2016.
MenStyleFashion had the opportunity to ask Klas Bendrik the CIO of Volvo cars some more in depth questions.
Q: How does the Microsoft band 2 connect and what is the maximum distance that it can operate from?
A: The Microsoft band connects to a smart phone and this phone ultimately connects to the car. It is possible to connect to the car in Las Vegas from Sweden so distance is not an issue.
Q: For what Volvo ranges will this technology be available?
A: This technology will be available from Marc 2016 and will work on the whole range of Volvo cars.
Q: Does it fit on the current range of cars?
A: Some of the current cars sold can use this technology.
Q: Can we expect more to come from this Microsoft partnership?
A: Yes we are working with Microsoft on an automotive application of Hololens technology. This is a holographic computer which gives potential buyers a unique way of experiencing our cars.
Hololens Technology Explained
The following video explains what hololens technology can do in our daily lives.