Kia Developing New Smartwatch
It seems as if we are entering the Age of the Smartwatch (even if our version of Microsoft Word still stubbornly refuses to recognize smartwatch as a real word). Just last week, Apple unveiled that its “next big thing” would be the Apple Watch. Now, Kia is announcing plans to develop its own smartwatch for use with K3 sedans (in South Korea, the Kia Forte is marketed as the K3).
Kia plans to create an upgraded version of the K3 Watch that debuted earlier this month to promote the second anniversary of the K3’s launch.
“Customer response to the watch was better than we expected,” said a company official. “Now we are preparing to develop the next K3 Watch.”
The new K3 Watch will be able to remotely lock and unlock the K3’s doors as the driver leaves or approaches the car, plus start the engine and switch on the A/C. So no, it doesn’t have quite as many capabilities as the Apple Watch, but it will also probably cost a whole lot less, too, considering the Apple Watch starts at $349 and some people speculate could go up to $5,000 for the solid gold edition (can you imagine spending thousands of bucks on a watch that has a square face?).
The K3 Watch isn’t necessarily a technological breakthrough, as it basically just does some of the same things that remote starters and phone apps are doing now, but it does eliminate the need for carrying a key, which sounds handy.
“The biggest challenge for developing next generation remotes lies not in the technical side, but the economics side,” confirmed the official. “Lowering the cost and making a budget watch is our priority.”
No word yet on when the K3 Watch will launch, or if and when it will be available for American drivers. We imagine that when that day does come, though, Apple devotees who just happen to be Kia customers will have to choose between wearing one smartwatch on each wrist, or two smartwatches on the same wrist.
News Source: Korea Times