Volkswagen did a research and realized that the Americans spend a lot of time in their cars these days: an average of 52 minutes daily, 76 percent of them by themselves. So they decided to try and add a little fun to the mind-numbing task that is daily commute. But their idea of fun may not be the same as yours.
VW teamed up with Google and launched the SmileApp, which as the name suggests, is supposed to put a smile on your face after a long trip. It connects to any kind of car with Bluetooth connection, and after a drive is complete, the app uses factors like location, distance, time and weather to deliver users their Smile Score and awards them stickers and stuff.
So it actually doesn’t do anything to make the driving more fun. You still have to be bored all the way, only to get a virtual smiley face when your journey is complete. Sad, isn’t it?
That said, the app has features for longer trips that some people may find a bit of fun. It has re-imagined the classic “PunchDub” game, allowing people to collect “punches” each time they encounter another Volkswagen running using the app. It also offers the ability to create a Smilecast: a dynamic travelogue filled with the captured photos, maps of the trip, status updates, as well as other memories that are collected on a single URL. Through the URL, friends and family can view the Smilecast after the trip has ended. This sounds like a neat feature.
Another useful feature is Find My Car, which can help users find their car via Google Maps, and receive corresponding walking directions when available. The app is only available for Android devices, and Volkswagen firmly demand that drivers must not attempt using it while vehicle is in motion.