January 5, 2016
Volvo owners will be able to talk to their car via their Microsoft Band 2 wearable starting this spring. An initiative in the works will allow 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, the two companies said today.
In November 2015 Volvo and Microsoft announced a collaboration with the first automotive application of HoloLens technology. According to Volvo, 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 cars.
“With voice control we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible with digital assistant functionalities,” said Thomas Müller, vice president of 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, it said in a release.
“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?” said Klas Bendrik senior vice president and group chief information officer at Volvo Car Group.
Meanwhile, Peggy Johnson, executive vice resident of business development at Microsoft. “Together with Volvo, we’re just beginning to understand the potential that technology has to improve driver safety and productivity.”
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, which includes Canada.