What do the Apple Watch and the Tesla Model S have in common?
Probably not much on first thought, but Ukraine-based software developer, Eleks Labs, has grand plans to change all that.
The Apple Watch is not scheduled to hit the stores until April (and is likely to be priced at around the $349 mark), but Eleks Labs is already hard at work on a special Apple Watch app that it hopes will one day bring “touch-control” to the Tesla Model S using an Apple Watch – allowing users to control it from their wrist.
According to its developers, the app is being designed to allow users to monitor and customize the Model S from a distance, show its location on a map, control climate and headlights, lock and unlock doors, check the battery life, temperature and mileage (and even beep the horn).
However, these features are not unique to the Apple Watch.
The Model S can already be controlled via a web-based Application Programming Interface (API). Plus, Tesla offers its own range of apps for iOS and Android. (Eleks Labs says it created the Apple Watch app using an unofficial back-end API of Tesla, the one which had been reverse-engineered from the original Tesla API.)
Furthermore, during last month’s Consumer Electronics Show, an Audi-LG demonstration saw an Audi car being accessed by an LG smart watch.
For Eleks Labs, the road to a potentially wrist-controlled future for the Model S has not been smooth. The team has yet to iron-out several issues that have surfaced in the development of WatchKit apps.
Currently, the Apple WatchKit doesn’t offer access to many of its hardware features such as accelerometer, gyroscope and microphones, and Elek Labs offered its views in blog post.
“Although opportunities seem pretty huge with the Apple Watch, unfortunately, the current capabilities of the emulator-only development don’t match the expectations set after the keynote,” it said.
“We can now confidently say that creating anything really necessary and fully functional for the Apple Watch with the current SDK version is very, very difficult and many of the things promised at launch that were perfect for some business ideas are not at all available yet,” the post continued. “The only thing left for the developers is to wait for spring 2015, when a new version of WatchKit will be released and the Apple Watch will finally start selling.”
In time, Tesla could well offer its own Apple Watch app for the Model S, but the Eleks Labs app may just beat it to the punch.