Cars that Wirelessly Charge Smartphones + More

This week’s SmartCar roundup features: a smartwatch that connects the car and the driver, a way for people to wirelessly charge phones while driving, and a gadget that lets you avoid speed traps.

Nissan’s smartwatch


On the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show, Nissan unveiled a concept smartwatch that would connect drivers to Nismo, the company’s line of high performance vehicles. The Nismo Concept watch aims to not only  connect a person to his mobile device, but directly to the car as well.  This will allow the driver to monitor the efficiency of the vehicle, such as average speed and fuel consumption readings, and access vehicle telematics and performance data while on the track.

The watch also acquires biometric data using a heart rate monitor connected to the car’s on-board computer system via a smartphone app.  This will allow Nissan to deliver tailored messages for the driver.

“Wearable technology is fast becoming the next big thing and we want to take advantage of this innovative technology to make our Nismo Brand more accessible,” said Gareth Dunsmore, marketing communications general manager at Nissan in Europe.

“On track, Nissan uses the latest biometric training technologies to improve the performance of our Nissan Nismo Athletes and it is this technology we want to bring to our fans to enhance their driving experience and Nismo ownership.”

GM to equip 2014 cars with wireless mobile charger


Charging your mobile device while driving is nothing new, but the problem with car chargers are the wires.  They can really get in the way, and if you’ve ever stored your car charger in the glove box, you’ll know how frustrating it is to untangle, especially when your battery is about to die.

Good thing GM will be equipping its 2014 vehicles with a Powermat so drivers, or passengers, can wirelessly charge their devices provided that the device is wireless charging-capable, or it has a casing that would allow it to wirelessly charge.

This is a great way to keep your device juiced up without having to whip out out car charger.  And this is also a great way to prevent drivers from using their devices while driving except for voice activated controls — drivers won’t pick up the device because that would disrupt the charging process, so they have to rely heavily on voice commands.

Cobra iRadar ATOM


Speed traps.  Anyone who has encountered them knows the feeling of utter dismay when the cops are on your tail with flashing lights, telling you to pull over because they caught you going over the speed limit.

Yes, we should always stay within the speed limit because driving too fast is an accident waiting to happen.  But being pulled over is never a good feeling.  Don’t you wish there was something that could tell you if there are cops hiding somewhere, waiting to trap you?

There is, and it’s more advanced than the radar detectors you had in college.  You can buy the Cobra iRadar ATOM for $199.95.  It is a device that uses leading radar/laser detection technology to alert you if there are any speed traps ahead.  Aside from that, it gives you information if there are any speed cameras or red lights up ahead, and because it also connects to with your smartphone, you have access to the iRadar Community.  The Community allows users to report and warn other users of live police, caution areas, and photo enforcement areas.  When the iRadar detects a laser or speed trap, it automatically alerts the community.