Ford told iTWire its SYNC AppLink Hackathon event was run by Ford to offer the local app-developing community an opportunity to create new apps or enable existing mobile apps to utilise the voice-activated system before its local arrival next year.
“We were really amazed by the breadth of ideas developers came up with to give customers a more pleasurable driving experience and a safer driving experience,” said Bob Graziano, President and CEO, Ford Australia.
“Picking a winner was harder than ever, but team MYOB stood out in an area that has tremendous opportunity for tradespeople who spend a lot of time in their vehicle. If you think about it, the car is their mobile office, and providing job and customer details via SYNC’s voice control makes for a safer, smarter way to work from the car,” he said.
Small business software developer MYOB took out ‘Best New App’ in the competition, with an application designed to support tradies on the move.
MYOB’s app allows users to access data they may need throughout the working day, such as customer details and addresses, appointments and more entirely through SYNC’s voice command capability.
Team Millipede meanwhile won best existing app to be AppLink enabled for their app, Logbook Pro, which makes an onerous task easy to do. The team behind Logbook Pro said their app makes it simple to log trips and distances using SYNC’s voice control whilst keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
The award for best idea went to team Car Pool who conceptualised an app that could send push notifications to the vehicle display to alert a driver where they can pick up others looking to car pool. These notifications could be accepted or declined via SYNC’s voice control.
Best feature went to Long Zhen who developed a dashcam app that could turn a cradle-mounted smart phone into a dashcam and allow users to capture video content outside the vehicle all via SYNC’s voice control.
Another concept that was developed into a working app was a bushfire alert app that could push notifications to the vehicle’s display and could give audible alerts if the vehicle was approaching a bushfire. The app uses data from the cloud to provide real-time updates.
The SYNC AppLink Hackathon was designed to help stimulate ideas among the local app developer community and give them the opportunity to “hack” using the AppLink API, and teams participating in the SYNC AppLink Hackathon were given the opportunity to submit ideas and become a licensed SYNC developer to gain access to the Software Development Kit (SDK) and Technology Development Kit (TDK) to build and integrate their app with SYNC AppLink.
Ford engineers from Australia and Shanghai attended the event and provided developers with technical support for both the hardware and software components of the SYNC AppLink system.
“The SYNC AppLink Hackathon gave local developers a step up and the opportunity to sit beside great global apps that are already confirmed for Australia such as Pandora and Kaliki,” Graziano said.
SYNC AppLink will launch in Australia in 2014.