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Being the innovator that Elon Musk is, we shouldn’t be too surprised if he branches out the EV industry into the technology space, or it's even more likely that he is developing a way to integrate the smartwatch capabilities with Tesla’s electric vehicles.We have seen a rapid rise in the adoption of smartwatches, firstly for health and physical activity monitoring, but also for smartphone and communication integration with other devices. According to the IDC’s forecast for 2020 to 2024, the smartwatch device market is expected to grow and sustain an upward trajectory in 2020 and the years to come. Not only is this wearable considered fashionable but vendors are making them highly functional and practical for everyday use.
The latest filing by Xplora Technologies with the United States Federal Communications Commission, Tesla Motors is mentioned regarding the development of a new smartwatch. We could speculate that either Tesla has acquired the company or the electric vehicle manufacturer is going to be highly involved in some way or another with its manufacturing. In its recent filing with the FCC, it states,
“The XPLORA Technologies AS, the undersigned, hereby authorizes Mr. Wu Xuewen from Shenzhen BALUN Technology Co., Ltd., to act on the behalf of the XPLORA Technologies AS solely in matters relating to the application for an FCC equipment authorization for FCC ID: 2AVMJX5P including the signing of documents in connection with this Application. Necessary acts carried out by Shenzhen BALUN Technology Co., Ltd. in connection with the Application shall have the same effect as acts of the Tesla Motors, Inc.”
A request was included for short- and long-term confidentiality as the following was included in the FCC filing:
“Since this design is a basis form which future technological products will evolve, Tesla Motors, Inc. considers this information would be of benefit to its competitors, and that the disclosure of the information in these documents would give competitors an unfair advantage in the market.”
There is a sensible connection between Xplora and Tesla if we look at how Tesla is working with its mobile phone app to manage car features. Apple has already taken steps in this direction by enabling the iPhone or Apple Watch to function as a car key. This could very well be where Tesla is going with its involvement with Xplora.
Indicators point to a specific product being Xplora’s X5 Play/ X5 Play eSIM. It is a smartwatch that is compatible with a Nano SIM card to let children track their activity, send voice messages and predefined texts to pre-programmed contacts. The Xplora smartwatch supports call time, camera functionality, remote switch-off capabilities, Wi-Fi and a ‘school-mode’ that switches to silent and SOS-only.
The Xplora Platform works with Android and iOS to connects all family members through the Xplora range of smartwatches, as well as other brands of smartwatches, and activity trackers from the likes of Fitbit.
The company is seeing its fair share of success with over 35 million kids’ smartwatches on order to be shipped in 2021. Last year, Xplora saw a 7% market penetration in the smartwatch industry outside of China and driving up volumes in the European markets.