Continuing a trend that was first identified at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona back in March 2015, Ford and Amazon have announced plans to work together in order to deliver the next iteration of the smart concept – by connecting together the smart home and the smart car.
Their joint vision was showcased to the world this week in las Vegas, where the annual consumer electronics show is ongoing. The show has highlighted the ever growing role which smart home technology will play throughout 2016. The show has highlighted the increasing role that Amazon is playing in the smart home, where they plan to combine technology and services that they already own (LoveFilm which became their entertainment competitor to Netflix, Prime) and the shopping experience of Amazon.com, with the products that they sell on that store – ranging across the wide consumer spectrum of goods which are increasingly getting ‘smarter’. Everything from kettles to car keys are getting a smart upgrade this year, and its logical that Amazon would make strides to own this space.
Ford are also showing that they are taking the smart trend, where more innate objects are given brains by being connected to the internet of things, seriously. Ford already have their Ford Sync Connect and Applink services, and these latest plans indicate that they will hook this up with the Amazon Echo home. Alexa, the voice recognition service with virtual assistant tech is also included, giving the car the functionality to respond to voice commands.
So if you say, as demonstrated in vegas, “Alexa, ask my Ford for the charge status of my C-Max”, the car will respond with its current battery status. Other voice commands make it possible to start the car, without the keys, and to control the temperature. So in other words, the smart home tools are migrating to our car, and they will all be controlled via the same apps that we’re all increasingly using.
So this takes the smart home to the next level. So where today we can flick our home lights on by using home tech, soon we’ll be able to achieve this by talking to our car. So halfway home from work, we could instruct the car to turn up our heating at home. Or to turn on the oven to warm it up. Or to turn on the porch lights so that we can see where we’re going when we pull up on to the parking lot.
It also works the other way too, making you more productive whilst in the car. So all of this connectivity links in to your smartphone too, giving access to contacts, appointments and other such reminders.
We’ll keep you posted as this develops