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Car and Driver: Flicka da Volvo: Voice-Controlled Volvo App Hits Your Wrist

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Volvo Microsoft Band 2

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Among the useful technologies we’d want at the flick of a wrist: An Omega Seamaster with a laser cutter, a Jaeger-LeCoutre that can unlock an Aston Martin DBS, and a Ralph Lauren skeleton watch modeled after the designer’s own 1938 Bugatti Atlantic. But the crowd at the Consumer Electronics Show prefers black plastic and voice-activation, so Volvo and Microsoft have made it possible to start an XC90 by talking to a sports band.

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It is what it sounds like. There’s a Microsoft Band 2, a $250 heart-rate monitor/pedometer/GPS/email thing that pairs to a smartphone, with Volvo’s remote telematics app that responds only to voice commands. It does everything Volvo’s On Call smartphone app and various other automaker apps already do, including unlocking, setting climate control, sending addresses to the navigation system, and sounding the horn. It’s not quite as savvy as Microsoft’s HoloLens virtual reality headset, which Volvo wants to eventually project life-size holograms at dealerships.

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Volvo Microsoft Band 2

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But if you play it cool, we’ll admit adjusting your cuff links while whispering, “Prepare my Volvo” is a slick way to perform a remote start. The features will be available this spring for all Volvos with On Call connectivity. Integrate these capabilities into a classic men’s timepiece made from real metal and glass—say from Sweden’s own Sjöö Sandström, which supplies watches for Swedish fighter pilots—and you’d have us at “Unlock.”

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2016 Consumer Electronics Show

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