Hyundai car start here for Android Wear, coming for Apple Watch

Yes, the Apple Watch could replace your car keys, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview with the Telegraph last week. It won’t be the only watch to do so, though. On Wednesday, Hyundai debuted its watch app that lets Android Wear owners do the same. The car maker had previously shown an early version of the app in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, notes The Verge.

Blue Link Smartwatch

Obviously, you’ll need a Hyundai vehicle for the app, and that vehicle will have to support Hyundai’s Blue Link cloud platform. If you meet those requirements, the app will let you remotely start or stop your vehicle, lock and unlock the doors, flash the lights or honk the horn — the latter two options being helpful to find your car or truck in a parking lot.

The Hyundai Blue Link smartwatch app for Android Wear works through a Bluetooth-connected phone to send car commands through the cloud. The watch app supports both touchscreen and voice commands: Saying “Start my car,” for example, will do just that.

Along with its new Google Android Wear app, Hyundai’s Blue Link software will be available for the Apple Watch shortly after Apple releases its smart timepiece, which it’s expected to do this coming Monday.

Hyundai wants your NFC-enabled smartphone to be your car keys

Car keys may soon be a thing of the past. Hyundai is testing out a concept in which it allows users to access their car using NFC-enabled smartphones. The tap-and-go interaction can also trigger individual user preferences and initiate streaming between the phone and car.

Photos: Next-gen solar tech at Intersolar

One of the largest solar conferences in the U.S., Intersolar, kicked off on Tuesday in downtown San Francisco, and is expected to draw around 22,000 attendees in the solar and power sectors this week. Here’s photos of the latest solar gear shown across two floors.

Today in Cleantech

South Korea plans to spend some $15.8 billion on its smart grid over the coming six years — and IBM wants to have part of that business. Big Blue announced this morning that it was working with a Korean consortium building a smart grid test bed on the island of Jeju, with the role of integrating intermittent power from wind turbines — as well as load-shedding capabilities and on-site generation sources at facilities like steel mills and chemical factories — into the grid at large. It’s a complicated task, and IBM is working with Korean IT integrator POSCO on the project, which in turn is working with other Jeju Island consortium members like LG, KEPCO, SK Telecom and Hyundai Heavy Industries. This isn’t IBM’s first island-based smart grid project, by the way — it’s also linking electric and water meters into an integrated system or the island nation of Malta.

Today in Cleantech

It’s time for a news dump on this week’s Solar Power International show in Los Angeles. Where to start? On day one (Tuesday), we got GE’s move into thin-film solar, LG’s $820 million pledge to grow its solar business to billions in a few years, and Hyundai’s giant step into the solar cell business — all driving consensus that solar startups better compete on software and services, not manufacturing. Wednesday saw SunPower shed light on its concentrating PV plans and Lumeta show off its “peel-and-stick” solar roofing tiles. As for today, we’ve got First Solar’s two new factories and Suntech’s comments on the “build-or-buy” debate on solar cell and panel manufacturing gear. Let’s not even get started talking about solar balance of systems

Ditch Solar Manufacturing, Look to Software, Services

Where can solar startups find opportunities when their playground is increasingly dominated by giants from other industries? That’s a question that some Silicon Valley solar company executives and investors have pondered for some time now. The answers are software and services.

Superconducting Wire Powering Up Korean Smart Grid

Could superconducting cable revolutionize the way electric grids operate? American Superconductor believes so, and plans to test it out in projects including one on South Korea’s smart grid test bed of Jeju Island.

Official Twitter App Now Live in App Store

Twitter for iPhone is here, and those of you who already have Tweetie 2 installed on your phone can get it just by checking the App Store for updates. It brings with it a new icon, some UI refinements, and a few new features.

Get Ready for the South Korean Smart Grid Firms

Back when I was a broadband reporter for Red Herring magazine, I took a trip to Seoul and did the classic story on how South Korea kick-started its economy with government investment into blazing-fast broadband pipes that created its world-leading mobile and web industries. South Korea’s broadband buildout may hold some interesting lessons for the U.S. smart grid rollout, as I’ve noted before. But the country could also take a leading role in the smart grid market, with South Korean smart grid firms competing directly against the companies in Silicon Valley that are developing the next-generation of smart grid tools. According to a report today in Reuters, South Korea has picked eight consortiums to build a smart grid test bed in the country and South Korea is vying for “30 percent share of the global smart grid industry.”
In the same way (albeit on a smaller scale) that the South Korean government pumped money into developing broadband infrastructure, the government plans to invest 37 billion won (about $32 million) initially into building out the smart grid test-bed. The companies that will start building the smart grid infrastructure include a who’s-who of South Korean IT companies including mobile leaders SK Telecom and KT, consumer electronics and cell phone heavyweight LG, power companies KEPCO and GS Caltex, and Hyundai Heavy Industries. Taking the same approach as the island nation of Malta — isolating the buildout to a geographical area — the South Korean government plans to build the smart grid test bed on the island of Jeju, which is south of Seoul (see map above).
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Watching the Michael Jackson Funeral Live

10:30 a.m.: The Michael Jackson funeral has begun. Watching CNN.com Live feed with Facebook integration. Facebook reports 6,000 status updates/minute, on a more global scale than what they saw with live Obama Inauguration coverage. CNN doesn’t have audio from the Staples Center, switching to MSNBC.

10:35: MSNBC has Twitter integration — automatically tags posts “#MJ #MSNBC.” Updates are coming in too fast to read. Chris reports seeing a pre-roll on MSNBC as well as Hulu.

10:39: Checked back with CNN, it’s way behind the other feeds. Also the “friends” filter isn’t that effective for me since many of mine are not watching. There should be some sort of semantic filter to bring in friend updates that are actually relevant.

10:43: Here’s a screenshot of my overloaded desktop where you can get an idea of how the different feeds look:

Picture 3

10:45: Man, CNN is not handling all the traffic it’s getting. Keeps stopping up.

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