Roximity is a location-aware daily deal notification service, but more than an innovative idea, it’s a great example of how Ford encourages developers to create new app ideas for SYNC®.
Ford sponsored a SYNC App Developer Challenge contest during the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in San Francisco. The purpose was to stimulate ideas amongst the developer community and demonstrate the possibilities for in-car app innovation with the voice-activated SYNC system. The challenge turned out to be the perfect motivator that Danny Newman’s company, called ID345, needed to fully develop an idea they had been too busy to pursue servicing existing clients like Disney and Sony.
“If Ford hadn’t opened the door for us, Roximity would probably still be nothing more than an idea jotted down in a notebook sitting on a shelf,” said Newman. “In 24 hours we were able to basically take an idea, some notes and sketches, and turn it into the first version of what we have now.”
Roximity provides real-time deals and specials relevant to a user’s location, based on personal preferences and interests. Used with SYNC, for example, a driver could get a customized verbal message for a special deal on food from a favorite nearby restaurant.
Teams participating in the Hackathon were given the opportunity to submit and present their app ideas for a chance to become a licensed SYNC developer, gain access to the tools and resources needed to integrate their app with SYNC AppLink™, and travel to CES to showcase their app as part of the Ford display. Roximity is one of the five new apps Ford is presenting at the 2012 International CES.
The Roximity team isn’t the only party interested in developing SYNC-compatible apps. Through Ford’s SYNC Mobile Application Developer Network website at www.syncmyride.com/developer, developers have a place to initiate contact with Ford regarding their app ideas.
More than 3,000 developers have expressed interest in creating SYNC-enabled apps.
To be compatible with SYNC, an app must go through an approval process and meet certain guidelines and standards before Ford will allow it to work. There are certain aspects of the program available only to third parties whose apps have been approved.
Apps that are able to work with SYNC are then accessed through SYNC AppLink, the free software program from Ford that gives SYNC users voice control of smartphone apps. Pandora internet radio, Stitcher news radio and OpenBeak for Twitter were the first apps compatible with SYNC AppLink, with more on the way.
For additional information about Roximity, please see a short video at http://youtu.be/djHoH_bnHNY.