The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the most anticipated events of the year for electronic tech enthusiasts, and that includes the host of techies who work at Ford! We descend on the show to introduce our newest electronics innovations as well as to meet with companies and generally just take in all that the industry is doing.
The focus for us this year at CES is in-car connectivity, announcing several new apps that are now compatible with Ford SYNC® AppLink™, available in many Ford vehicles. We also reached an incredible milestone: more than 1-million vehicles equipped with SYNC AppLink are on the road today, and we expect another 3.4 million vehicles – model year 2010 and newer – will be eligible to download AppLink later this year.
“Ford was first to bring affordable and widely available advanced connectivity features to the market starting with SYNC, putting Ford firmly on the map as a technology company,” said Raj Nair, Group Vice President, Global Product Development. “With the rapid pace of mobile and digital innovation, our goal is to move the bar yet again, leveraging emerging technologies and the flexibility of the SYNC platform to enhance the ownership experience for customers.”
Here is a look at several of the specific news from CES:
Parkmobile App to Add Ford SYNC AppLink Compatibility So Drivers Can Pay for Parking On the Go
Parkmobile is a service that enable users to pay for parking from their smartphones, and it has announced its app will soon be compatible with the Ford SYNC in-car connectivity system. Using the SYNC AppLink interface, drivers will be able to pay for a parking space with an on-file credit or debit card, eliminating the need to touch their mobile phone while driving.
While it varies from location to location, in some cases drivers can receive a reminder to their smartphone 15 minutes prior to the expiration of their parking session, enabling them to remotely extend their parking session if they have not exceeded the maximum allowed time.
Parkmobile, for Android devices, is now compatible with Ford SYNC AppLink. The app for iPhone will soon follow. To download Parkmobile, visit parkmobile.com.
Parkopedia Launches In-Car, Voice-Activated Parking Spot Discovery App for Ford SYNC AppLink
Parkopedia is a parking information provider with more than 28 million parking spots listed, and it announced an app compatible with the Ford SYNC AppLink in-car connectivity system. Using the AppLink interface, drivers will be able to locate available nearby parking spots and get pricing information through simple voice commands, eliminating the need to touch their mobile phone while driving.
To use Parkopedia, drivers of SYNC AppLink-equipped Ford vehicles need to have the app installed on an iOS or Android-based smartphone. Drivers can activate Parkopedia by pressing the SYNC voice button on the steering wheel and saying “Mobile applications,” and then “Parkopedia,” to begin finding real-time available parking spots.
For more information regarding Parkopedia and to download the mobile apps, please visit parkopedia.com. The Ford SYNC AppLink-compatible version of Parkopedia will be available as a free update in spring 2014.
Gracenote Powers First-Ever Voice-Activated, Mood-Based Music Listening for Ford SYNC AppLink Users
Using the Ford SYNC AppLink API, Gracenote developers are providing drivers a unique way to rock out to music to match their mood – using simple voice commands with the HABU Music App. The latest HABU Music App software update will be available later this month.
The HABU smartphone app for iPhone makes it easy to navigate expansive music collections, letting drivers tap into their music to enjoy a playlist to fit just about any mood, without having to remember artist or track names.
HABU takes advantage of the enormous library of metadata provided by Gracenote to analyze music collections and organize songs based on their mood characteristics. HABU groups songs into 25 moods that can be accessed using simple voice commands. When HABU is paired with SYNC AppLink, drivers can tap into automatically generated playlists by pressing the SYNC button on the steering wheel and saying “Play upbeat,” “Play rowdy,” “Play relaxing,” or whatever their mood might be.
Learn more about HABU Music at habumusic.com.
ADT Pulse Customers to Access Home and Business Security Systems Using Ford SYNC AppLink
Security provider ADT announced that its Pulse app will be compatible with the Ford SYNC in-car connectivity system. Using the SYNC AppLink interface, drivers will be able to arm and disarm their security system, make sure doors and windows are closed, and take other steps to ensure the security of their property using simple voice commands.
To use ADT Pulse with SYNC AppLink, drivers of equipped Ford vehicles need the Pulse app installed on an iOS or Android-based smartphone. The app will then be automatically available when the phone is connected to SYNC. Drivers simply need to press the SYNC voice button on the steering wheel to launch the ADT Pulse app, and then, using intuitive voice commands, can remotely manage their home and business security with a number of functions.
Domino’s Pizza and Ford Unveil Latest Ordering App Innovation Using SYNC AppLink System
Available soon, Domino’s customers who have a registered Pizza Profile on their Domino’s mobile app, as well as the Ford SYNC AppLink in-car connectivity system, will be able to use that combination to place their saved Easy Order in just a few simple, voice-activated steps.
Domino’s customers can save their favorite pizza combination, address and payment information using the Easy Order function at dominos.com or on their mobile app. The order can then be placed using simple voice commands provided by the SYNC system.
In addition to these announcements, we also announced the first-ever automotive mobile app developer conference this June. The Ford Developer Conference will be held in conjunction with the annual Further with Ford trend conference that takes place in Dearborn, Mich.
“More than ever, consumers are getting organized, entertained and informed through their Internet-connected smartphones and tablets,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president, global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. “Drivers expect to be able to take advantage of that capability in the car, and Ford SYNC AppLink is the industry-leading platform for accessing apps while keeping eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”
App developers will be able to attend sessions led by Ford Developer Program leaders, current AppLink partners and guest speakers to gain valuable insight into such topics as:
Ford AppLink engineers and business development staff will be on hand throughout the conference collecting feedback on the system, as well as considering potential avenues for development of the platform going forward.
Visit ford.com to learn more about Ford SYNC AppLink.