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Meet BlueLink, a Hyundai cloud-connected service that provides cool remote access features for select vehicles. I recently had a chance to test BlueLink with the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In, and now I’m convinced that connected cars are the future.

BlueLink links up to your vehicle using its VIN number, using the Internet to relay information to and from the car, wherever you may be. Connected apps for cars, homes, and other smart accessories are cool and all, but what if you could start your car or unlock your doors from an Apple Watch, without taking a step? Welcome to what’s next…

Hyundai’s BlueLink app works with iOS and Android devices, and looks very similar across both platforms. The functions allow you to lock and unlock the doors, start and stop the car, flash the lights, honk the horn, and even locate it from a distance. BlueLink also provides current statistics on the vehicle’s battery charge, and other important data.

Beyond supporting phones, BlueLink also features smartwatch integration with both Apple Watch and Android Wear. You can easily launch the watch companion, choose from specific functions within the interface and perform any action. There’s even voice control support within the smartwatch app that will utilize Google Now or Siri dictation to take your command and make it happen.

Check out our first look video below to see BlueLink in action:


How will this be practical? Well, let’s say it’s cold outside and you want to warm up the car for a bit before leaving the house. All you’d need to do is launch the app, tap the remote start icon, pick a running time duration, and set the temperature you’d like the car to be at when you get in. The app will send your request wirelessly to the vehicle. The same remote access works for unlocking or locking the doors, locating your vehicle with Google Maps, or even flashing the headlights and honking the horn to help you find the car in a packed parking lot. It’s pretty cool stuff.

Each time you send a command, you’ll be required to enter in a four digital PIN code which can get annoying at times, but it’s there for security reasons. I’d love to see this integrated with Touch ID on the iPhone or the simple “on-wrist” protection that Apple Watch offers. Unfortunately, at the moment, you’ll need to enter this PIN each time you’d like to control the vehicle.

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BlueLink for Android

BlueLink is a very cool service that Hyundai is putting together, and I’m looking forward to the future of connected cars, smart integration, and remote access. Connected cars are definitely the future, but are they worth buying right now?

Unlike smartphones, most people don’t upgrade their car every year, so it’s important to get in at a point when the technology is readily available and stable. I think that moment in time is coming very soon, and I’m definitely looking forward to it. It’s also important to note that BlueLink is a subscription service through Hyundai. What Hyundai is doing with this technology isn’t exactly new, since Tesla has been working on similar functionality for a while, but I’m glad to see more cars adding cloud-connected features. For a closer look at BlueLink and its smartphone/smartwatch integration, check out the video above.

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