Ford is bringing their Sync AppLink technology to Asia starting with the Ford Focus in Taiwan. In case you are not familiar with it Ford Sync AppLink is powered by Microsoft and offers connectivity between your car and your BlackBerry apps over Bluetooth. This allows developers to customize their apps to be controlled by SYNC using your voice. Ford announced at Computex 2012 in Taipei that starting with the new Ford Focus in Taiwan the system will have voice recognition in English and Mandarin with 150 voice commands in either language.
Check out the details in the two press releases below. I wonder if developers internationally will update their apps to support Sync since most apps so far are US only.
Ford Announces SYNC AppLink Coming to Asia, Giving Customers Voice Control of Smart Phone Apps
· Ford customers in Asia will be able to access and operate smart phone apps by voice with the introduction of SYNC AppLink to Ford vehicles
· AppLink will be available to Ford customers as part of the SYNC voice-activated in-car connectivity system
· Ford seeking partners in local markets and globally to work on making existing smart phone apps SYNC AppLink-compatible
TAIPEI, Taiwan, June 4, 2012 – Ford Motor Company today announced that AppLink, a feature which gives drivers voice control of smart phone apps, will be introduced in markets across Asia Pacific and Africa as part of its voice-activated in-car connectivity system SYNC.
Ed Pleet, Director, Connected Services, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, and Europe, revealed the latest innovation from Ford at Computex 2012, in Taipei.
“AppLink is an exciting addition to our class-leading SYNC system, giving Ford customers access to even more services via voice control,” said Pleet.
“We will continue to work closely with leading developers and companies in local markets and around the world to make existing apps compatible with SYNC AppLink and provide the best services for our customers,” he said.
AppLink is a feature of SYNC, and also the only system in the auto industry that can control smartphone apps via voice control. AppLink can access mobile apps on Android, BlackBerry, and iOS smartphones.
AppLink currently enables customers in the U.S. to access leading apps including:
• TuneIn radio – offering access to over 50,000 radio stations around the world
• Stitcher – an app for streamlining radio shows and podcasts directly from smart phones
• Pandora – personalized internet radio service
• OpenBeak – allows users to have Twitter updates read out to them
• iHeartRadio – delivers everything listeners want in one free, fully-integrated service: live broadcast and digital-only radio stations, plus user-created Custom Stations
• NPR News – the latest from NPR (National Public Radio), including newscasts, station streams from around the country, favourite public radio programs, coverage organised by topics, and the ability to create custom playlists
• SYNC Destinations – a free app that delivers quick, on-the-go access to the latest traffic reports, travel times and traffic forecasts. Ford owners also can use the app to easily send future destinations from their phone to their car for simple, voice-controlled navigation on the road
• Slacker Radio – Listen to over 150 expert-programmed, personalized radio stations, featuring music, ESPN Radio, ABC News, Comedy and more!
• Scout by Telenav – a daily personal navigator that allows drivers to easily and efficiently navigate their commutes, run errands, and discover places around them
During Computex 2012, Ford will demonstrate some of the features of AppLink, including TuneIn Radio. It will also showcase the efforts from a 24-hour “Facebook Hackathon” earlier this year where Ford and Facebook engineers got together to find ways to socialize the car, for example, by searching for restaurants that a friend has “liked,” or automatically checking in to your location once you park your car. Details of the event can be found at: http://social.ford.com/our-articles/technologies/infotainment/what-if-your-facebook-friends-picked-your-driving-tunes
SYNC AppLink will deliver similar functionality and benefits to SYNC customers in Asia that it already does for Ford customers in North America, where it is currently available on 10 Ford vehicle models.
Ford aims to deliver an integrated experience with smartphone applications and the vehicle including app control through voice and vehicle switches as well as the ability for the app to display information to the vehicle’s display. This integration occurs through Ford’s renowned Software Development Kit (SDK) that allows smartphone app developers to modify existing apps to work hands-free using voice recognition through SYNC.
The SDK release has helped Ford to forge a more open and collaborative bond with the wireless, consumer electronics and app developer communities to create a safer and smarter in-car connectivity experience that leverages the mobile devices customers own and love.
Developers can contact Ford via its SYNC Developer website (www.syncmyride.com/developer).