Law makers are busy banning the use of Google Glass while driving, but Hyundai is going in the opposite direction. The automaker on Friday announced its new-for-2015 Genesis Sedan will have full Google Glass integration through its Blue Link infotainment system. As if anyone would buy a vehicle just for its Google Glass support; and Hyundai’s announcement is reliant on states around the U.S. being ok with drivers flying down freeways wearing face computers. Hyundai said the move is meant to “enhance the ownership experience.”
“Wearables are a great way to extend the experience outside of the vehicle by leveraging these small screens to quickly access remote features and deliver timely vehicle information,” said Barry Ratzlaff, executive director of Customer Connect and Service Business Development for Hyundai.
Once Glass is linked up to the Genesis through a Blue Link app, users will get push notifications sent directly into their eyeballs—you’ll even be able to schedule service right from Glass. This kind of functionality seems more suited to mobile devices out of your field of vision, but if you prefer maintenance notifications to be on your head, then by all means. Law makers are fearful the utility of Glass will be a major road distraction, and Hyundai’s support seems to exacerbate those fears. Glass will even ping you with points of interest.
“As new screens emerge, we see a real opportunity to expand our app strategy to provide added convenience for our owners,” Ratzlaff said.
Not many people own Glass—yet. Once/if the technology becomes available to a wider consumer audience, the debate as to whether Glass is safe while driving will surely intensify on the local, state and federal levels. I’ve never used Glass, so I can’t speak to how distracting in-vehicle support would be. But people are already distracted as it is by the radio, smartphones and other road conditions; adding another potential distraction doesn’t seem like the most sound business decision on Hyundai’s part.
Hyundai said Google Glass is just a small part of its support for wearable devices; the automaker also said “other” devices will be supported, but didn’t specify what.