Yesterday, Ford and several health industry partners unveiled a vision of a future in which its SYNC device becomes not just a voice-activated infotainment system, but a “health and wellness” tool for drivers and occupants of a vehicle. The system will not attempt to cure your sniffles with a song; instead, it would serve as a platform for extending the reach of healthcare and disease monitoring. Before you cry “Big Brother,” Ford reminds us that drivers suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease can pose an acute safety risk to themselves and others when behind the wheel.
Ford and its partners, Medtronic, SDI Health, and WellDoc, believe they can keep passengers connected to doctors and monitoring services by using SYNC and existing health industry technologies and data analysis. The rapid proliferation of wireless tech and micro sensors has resulted in such conveniences as implanted blood-glucose monitors that can pair with Bluetooth-enabled devices to transfer blood sugar data to a cloud computer in real time. These could be set up to pair with Ford’s SYNC system, for example. An app called Allergy Alert (pictured above) is another proposal. It would let vehicle occupants know the pollen levels in the air around them; a simple “location” command geolocates the car, pulls pollen data from a network, and then verbally recites the pollen levels and sources to occupants while displaying them in the central multi-function screen.
While Ford made it clear that its research into health-monitoring app integration into its vehicles is intended for series production someday, the full cloud-based capabilities are still several years away from landing in the hands of consumers.Tags: Ford, infotainment, Sync |