BMW’s i3 Electric Car to Feature Life360 "Big Brother" Integration
Last March, BMW i Ventures announced they had invested in Life360, an up and coming family locator, messaging tool, and communication App.
One of the first BMW vehicles planned to fully integrate the Life360 technology is BMW’s new i3 electric car. The i3 will feature dashboard-level integration of Life360, via its BMW i Navigation system, when it becomes available here in the United States this year.
So how does Life360 work? Well, imagine big brother, at a family level. The system allows users to create personal networks, called “The Family Circle”. They are then able to check in to see where each network member is at any given time. Users can even create pre-sets which will notify them when a member of the group arrives at a specific location; work or school for instance.
But wait, there’s more. In addition to continually tracking your whereabouts, Life360 can provide crime stats for the area, it can allow users to send panic alerts (which includes their exact location), and it can let other members of the group know when you’ve left a specific geographic area. You know, your folks tell you to go directly to school, but you stop off at a friend’s house on the way. Busted.
While many folks, myself included, will probably find Life360 a bit invasive, BMW likely hopes to win over “family” buyers with the new technology. Gone are the days of telling the parental units you’ll be home by eleven. With new in-car technology like Life360, they’ll know exactly where you are at any given moment.
Life360 is free to download on Android and iPhone platforms. Non-smart phone users can be added for $4.99 a month.
"We have long envisioned how Life360 can be integrated into connected cars," said Chris Hulls, co-founder and CEO of Life360. "We are thrilled to be partnering with the innovative team at BMW to develop convenient ways for families to safely stay connected with each other when they are on the road. For example, our location-based technology could allow drivers to touch a portrait of a family member on their dashboard and navigate directly to that family member. This is just one of many ways Life360 can be integrated into the car to deliver a valuable utility to families."
In keeping with the current trend among auto makers, BMW says it plans to incorporate even more apps and technical gadgetry into their cars in the future.
Written by Jonathan P. Lamas