- Ford announces a new app for connectivity system SYNC AppLink that will enable the growing number of people who use social media to stay connected and safe on the move
- Social media aggregator Meople.Connector is Ford’s first partner app to offer updates from networks including Twitter and LinkedIn, and enables voice-controlled responses
- Ford will next month show in-car apps in operation at Web Summit in Dublin, one of the world’s leading tech conferences. Ford and Web Summit also are inviting developers to take part in a 24-hour challenge to design apps for AppLink, with €75,000 prize money on offer
Ford is making it easier for the increasing numbers of people who use social media to stay connected with friends, family, and the wider world on the move while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
The Meople.Connector app that is available for iOS and Android devices will be introduced to Ford’s connectivity system SYNC AppLink to enable drivers to use voice-control to listen to messages from social media sites including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Russia-based social network VK.
The Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2015 shows that those 44-years-old and under are most likely to get news online, including from social media, which it calls a “gateway” to news.* By 2018 it is estimated that worldwide 1-in-3 people will be using social media.**
“For many people today, social media is fundamental to staying up-to-date and informed. From a reminder that it’s a friend’s birthday, to hearing the minute your football team scores a goal, to breaking news, social media is part of the fabric of modern life. By adding further news and personal communications, we are helping to ensure customers can stay seamlessly connected throughout their day in a safe and stress-free way,” said Don Butler, executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services, Ford Motor Company.
After drivers are alerted to messages, they can then use voice commands to “Read,” “Answer,” or “Skip,” the message. Should they choose to respond to the message they have listened to, they can do so using pre-determined messages, which also can be customised by the user. Drivers can select how often updates are received, and send their current location to friends, family and colleagues.
First introduced in Europe in 2013, Ford’s SYNC AppLink technology already enables drivers to voice-activate a range of smartphone apps, including ADAC, Audioteka, AUPEO!, Cityseeker by Wcities, Cyclops, DetektorFM , DIE WELT, Eventseeker by Wcities, Glympse, Goal Live Scores, Radioplayer, Roald Dahl Audiobooks, Soundtracker, and Spotify. Meople.Connector is the company’s first AppLink-enabled social media app for SYNC.
“We worked very closely with Meople.Net to develop a driveable experience that would allow drivers to stay connected while ensuring they remain focused on the road ahead,” Butler said.
Founded in 2012, Meople.Net is a California-based start-up offering a simple, powerful solution to combine a user’s social networks and social feeds into one stream. Meople.Connector is the company’s first app for a vehicle, available in English, French, German Italian, Spanish and Russian languages.
“Social has triggered a game-changing communications shift, with more and more people using networks to communicate. But people can’t be on every site at once, especially when driving. Meople.Connector enables drivers to access and respond to social communications with the same ease as making phone calls and sending text messages,” said Dzmitry Markovich, founder, Meople.Net
Ford will show in-car apps in operation at Web Summit, one of the world’s leading technology conferences, which takes place in Dublin Nov. 3-5. In addition, the company is inviting developers to take part in a 24-hour challenge to design apps for SYNC AppLink. Organised with Web Summit, the SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge Dublin, which starts at 09:00 WET, on Nov. 2, will give programmers a chance at €75,000 prize money and the opportunity to develop new apps with Ford. Teams have until Oct. 31 to register athttps://dublin.makeitdriveable.com/.
Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford is scheduled to speak on the opening day of Web Summit, and also will meet with the developers participating in the challenge to discuss his vision for the future of mobility and how technology will make people’s lives better.