CES 2016 – Volvo Lets You Speak To Its Cars Using Wearables

Volvo has announced a new partnership with Microsoft that will allow customers to interact with their cars using a wearable device.

Drivers with a Microsoft Band 2 will be able to carry out functions such as setting the navigation, starting the heater, locking the doors, flashing the lights or sounding the horn via Volvo’s mobile app.

But far from just tapping at their wrists, drivers will use the Volvo on Call app with voice control to carry out all these functions from spring 2016.


The Volvo on Call app, first launched in 2001, uses a SIM card embedded in the vehicle to allow both the car and driver to transmit information during the driving experience.

“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 of Volvo’s electrics/ electronics & e-propulsion services.

The launch is the latest in a series of technology-focused services from the Swedish carmaker, which is proving to be a particularly vibrant player in the connected automotive space.

The company has already connected many of its cars in its home country to a cloud platform that shares information on weather and road conditions, greatly improving driving safety across Sweden.

Back in November, it also launched what it called the world’s first in-car delivery service, allowing goods to be delivered directly to a customer’s vehicle thanks to a single-use digital key.

Microsoft revealed the Band 2, its second generation wearable, back in October, following the unexpectedly strong success of the original device.

Able to work with both Android and iOS mobile devices, the Microsoft Band 2 also offers greater interactivity with Windows 10 apps such as Cortana, as well as a built-in GPS system for fitness fans.

It also features a Windows universal app, meaning you can track your progress and training using the Web Dashboard companion program on a computer or tablet and really enjoy the personal aspects of big data, and Microsoft says can offer a 48-hour battery life.

“Our ongoing partnership with Volvo continues to bring ground breaking technology to enhance the automotive experience,” said Peggy Johnson, Microsoft’s executive vice president of business development. “Together with Volvo, we’re just beginning to understand the potential that technology has to improve driver safety and productivity.”

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Mike Moore

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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