The twenty-first century is officially in full-swing; Apple’s iPod has been turned into a mobile phone, dubstep is a thing, and now, Ford Motor Company is exploring ways to integrate Ford SYNC software with various “smart” home devices.
Perhaps the most significant of smart pairings in the works is with the Amazon Alexa cloud-based voice service. Currently, Amazon Alexa users can issue voice commands to various connected smart devices in the home, allowing control of devices such as lights, garage doors, security systems, etc. just by speaking. This is done through the Amazon Echo speaker/microphone device, but in the future, Amazon Alexa could be accessible through Ford SYNC, as well.
In other words, any voice command that can currently be issued to Amazon’s Alexa voice service could conceivably be issued from the driver’s seat of the car, as well, using the new Ford SYNC Connect system – debuting on the 2017 Ford Escape. Thus, drivers could ensure that they shut off the lights and armed the home security system while already on the road. Just as important, communications would also work in the other direction, allowing Ford SYNC users to do things like check fuel or battery range, lock or unlock the vehicle, or schedule a car start-up time through the Amazon Echo device.
Beside Amazon’s Alexa service, Ford is also looking at integrating smart home platform Wink with the Ford SYNC infotainment system. Says Ford Executive Director of Connected Vehicle and Services Don Butler: “Consumers increasingly want to stay connected to their homes while on the move. Linking smart devices like Amazon Echo and Wink to vehicles via SYNC would fulfill that desire, and allow consumers to connect with their vehicles even when they aren’t behind the wheel.”