Command and conquer
As we've written before, the car is a major new front in the battle for the soul of the mobile internet. People spend a lot of time in their cars, much of it dead-time. If technology can enable them to be more productive and/or entertained while sat in the traffic then the market could be huge.
US car-maker Ford looks like it's being pretty pro-active in this area. It has already launched an in-car connectivity system called SYNC, which seems to be a built-in Bluetooth hands-free system, which allows you to interact with your phone via voice commands and the vehicles infotainment system controls.
Now it has released SYNC AppLink, a piece of software that you can install on your Android or BlackBerry phone, which allows you to control some of the specific apps via the SYNC interface. Ford is also going to create a developer community to encourage the development of apps designed specifically to be used in a car.
"The growth in smartphone mobile apps has been explosive, and Ford has worked hard to respond at the speed of the consumer electronics market," said Doug VanDagens, director of Ford's Connected Services Organization.
"SYNC is the only connectivity system available that can extend that functionality into the car. AppLink will allow drivers to control some of the most popular apps through SYNC's voice commands and steering wheel buttons, helping drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road."
SYNC Applink will launch on the 2011 US Fiesta and three apps have already been announced as supporting it. The video clips below demonstrate all of these.