Microsoft has teamed up with Volvo to launch a wearable-enabled voice control system that will work with the Band 2. With the wearable attached to your arm, you'll be able to start the heating, lock doors, flash lights and even sound the horn. You can now annoy neighbours from the comforts of your own home.
This move comes after the two companies explored ways Microsoft's HoloLens technology could improve the sales experience for customers, enabling them to visually configure and explore their potential investment on wheels. The new functionality will be activated in Volvo on Call enabled markets in spring 2016, so do keep an eye out should you own both a supported vehicle and the Band 2.
See the press release below for more details.
The Future Is Now - Volvo Cars and Microsoft Enable People to Talk to Their Cars
Volvo owners will be able to talk to their car via their Microsoft Band 2, allowing 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.
In November 2015 Volvo and Microsoft announced their high-profile collaboration with the first automotive application of HoloLens technology. 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. Now the two companies are delivering remote voice control for Volvo cars via the Microsoft Band 2 as another proof-point in their ambition to jointly develop next generation automotive technologies.
"Volvo is intent on making the car experience as easy and convenient as possible by utilising the latest technology in the most relevant and inspiring ways. 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 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, keen on opening up potential partnerships and new business models.
"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.
"Our ongoing partnership with Volvo continues to bring ground breaking technology to enhance the automotive experience," said Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President 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 in spring 2016.