Most smartwatches, at the core, are very much the same. You can usually rely on them to send you notifications, show you the number of steps you’ve taken in the day, maybe your heart rate and more. But so far we haven’t seen anything truly incredible out of smartwatches, until we saw the new Audi/LG smartwatch.
The device was announced during CES 2015, and Android Central discovered that it’s running Open webOS instead of Android Wear. Of course we were intrigued, so we went to check it out. Audi wouldn’t let us open the settings or really dig too much into the interface. Everything was super fluid, though, and you can use the watch to receive alerts, control your smartphone camera, track your health and other things that other smartwatches already do, but this does more.
First, it can pair with your car using NFC, and you can use it basically as your set of car keys. You can tap the door handle to lock or unlock your car, for example, or you can tap a small NFC-enabled panel inside the car’s cockpit to alert it you’re inside, and then tap the “start engine” button to turn the vehicle on. Again: you don’t need keys. This is your key to the car. It’s insane.
And even better: the watch actually looks great. It has beautiful metal edges, a solid leather strap and, in general, looks like a timepiece you’d pick up under a crystal display at Neiman Marcus.
You can see how this all works and more in our video above. Unfortunately neither LG nor Audi would provide a timeframe on launch or price, but considering how far along it is, we bet it’ll launch soon.