Hyundai has just announced a new update for its Blue Link app that enables Apple Watch users to control various car functions from their wrists. The app and associated update is currently available for free download at the App Store.

Hyundai’s cloud-based Blue Link platform enables features like remote engine start, remote engine stop (only available when the engine has been remotely started), remote door lock and unlock, remote flash lights, remote honk horn, car finder, vehicle status (which includes service information) and parking meter.

Users can activate these functions either by haptic controls (click the icon) or voice commands (hit the microphone icon and say something like “Find my car,” or “Start my car”). 

The update will work with both first and next-generation Blue Link-equipped Hyundai vehicles. The first-generation Blue Link system was offered on the 2012 Sonata and expanded across the automaker’s lineup throughout 2013. Next-gen Blue Link-equipped vehicles include the 2015 Hyundai Genesis, 2015 Hyundai Sonata and 2015 Hyundai Azera. 

Hyundai launched it’s Android Wear app at CES earlier this year, which included similar functionality to the Apple Watch app. Prior to this, Hyundai expressed interested in developing an app for Google Glass users, but canceled the project over insufficient demand for it. 

BMW, Volkswagen, Porsche, and other automakers are also developing their own Apple Watch apps. Hyundai is believed to be the first to bring their app to market.

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Why it matters

Considering the demand for smartphone integration, both inside and outside the vehicle, this development shouldn’t be unexpected to anyone. So far, the functionality seems pretty basic – honking the horn, starting the engine, and locating the vehicle are exactly the kind of functions you’d imagine would come with this first round of apps.

So far, the functionality seems pretty basic – honking the horn, starting the engine, and locating the vehicle are exactly the kind of functions you’d imagine would come with this first round of apps.


What I’m more interested in is what we’ll see when autonomous features start to become more commonplace. Smartphone and smartwatch apps that let you do stuff like tell your car to pick you up on the curb of a busy city street, go find a parking spot, find a charging station, pick up Timmy from soccer practice – that’s when things will get really exciting. And scary.

And I hate to throw a damper on all this geek celebration, but there is a darker side to this as well. There’s no such thing as unbreakable software, which means this app can be hacked. What happens when clever mischief-makers decide to spend his Saturday afternoon screwing around with other people’s cars for the lulz?

For example, why smash a window when you can just unlock it remotely? Would hackers find it hilarious to honk the horn on an infinitely repeating loop, or shut off a car’s engine in the middle of an intersection? 

Obviously, this is just paranoid conjecture, but as apps like this become more popular, it is something to keep in mind.

2015 Hyundai Sonata

2015 Hyundai Sonata High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review here.

Press Release

Think controlling a car with a watch is a thing of the future? Think again. Hyundai owners can now remotely flash their car’s lights in a crowded parking lot, lock the doors and even start it from almost anywhere from their wrist using the new Blue Link app for Apple Watch. As a leader in connected cars, Hyundai is always looking for new ways to connect owners to their vehicles. The latest Blue Link app update, which includes the companion app for Apple Watch, is available as a free download on the App Store starting today.

Hyundai Launches Blue Link App for Apple Watch Exterior Products
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“Giving customers more ways to connect with their cars is what it is all about,” said Frank Ferrara, executive vice president, customer satisfaction, Hyundai Motor America. “The Blue Link Apple Watch app complements all of our other high-tech features. Drivers can get into a Sonata today and find iPhone integration, adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection and a smart trunk that will open automatically when you stand behind it.”

Hyundai’s cloud-based Blue Link platform allows features like remote start and service information to be quickly accessed through devices like smartwatches and smartphones. The new app is easy to use. The wearer simply taps an icon or uses voice commands to execute remote functions. Pushing the microphone icon on the watch activates the voice function, where the driver can execute commands such as “Start my car,” “Lock my car” or “Find my car.”

Hyundai Launches Blue Link App for Apple Watch Exterior Products
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The Blue Link Apple Watch app works with first and next generation Blue Link equipped Hyundai models. The first generation Blue Link system rolled out on the 2012 Sonata and expanded across the lineup through 2013. Next generation Blue Link equipped models include the 2015 Genesis, Sonata and Azera. The Apple Watch app provides all Blue Link users, including first generation owners, with even more freedom of choice when interacting with their Hyundai.

Blue Link Apple Watch app features (all voice activated):

Remote Engine Start
Remote Engine Stop (Only available when vehicle is in remote engine start mode)
Remote Door Lock / Unlock
Remote Flash Lights / Honk Horn
Car Finder
Vehicle Status
Parking Meter

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