DEARBORN – To most people, a 24-hour day means three meals, a good night’s sleep, some time in the office and maybe a little relaxation at home before doing it all again. But for app developers at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon, 24 hours means an opportunity to turn their ideas into reality – and quickly.
For the second consecutive year, Ford is hosting the SYNC® AppLink™ Developer Challenge at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in San Francisco, providing a space for app developers to work around the clock by staying up all night creating their pet projects.
“Hackathons like the one at Disrupt help connect us not only with the latest ideas being considered by startups, but with the developer community as a whole,” said Julius Marchwicki, Ford SYNC AppLink global program manager. “By being there, and getting hands-on with these innovators, we can really find the next big app that can help drivers maximize their drive time while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”
AppLink is a software technology for SYNC that gives drivers voice control of smartphone apps while driving. Developers can pursue any sort of idea that they think could be the next big thing in mobile computing for the car. From location-aware deal-spotting apps to programs that help drivers manage their health, anything is possible during the Hackathon.
This year Ford is seeking 10 teams to participate in the SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge. The teams will use the AppLink application programming interface (API) to create a demonstrable app for evaluation during final judging. The API can be used by developers to create apps that function with SYNC AppLink. These teams will have a chance to show Ford why their app is useful for drivers.
Ford will pick one winner and give that team the opportunity to continue development of their app for potential commercial launch. The winning team will showcase their app as part of the Ford display at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) in January.
Last year’s winner of the SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge, ROXIMITY, recently launched with AppLink compatibility. Users of the app have up-to-date, relevant discount or special notifications sent to their smartphone or relayed to them verbally via AppLink while they drive.
Ford’s participation in the Disrupt Hackathon coincides with the company reaching the milestone of 1 million vehicles equipped with SYNC AppLink. First introduced for the Ford Fiesta, SYNC AppLink has since launched on several models in Ford’s product range including Mustang, F-150 and Expedition.
Additionally, the new 2013 C-MAX Hybrid SE, and Fusion S and SE models will feature SYNC AppLink availability.
The TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon takes place September 8-9 in San Francisco. More information on the Hackathon can be found at http://techcrunch.com/events/disrupt-sf-hackathon-2012/. For those app developers interested in participating in the Ford SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge, the submission form can be found at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?fromEmail=true&formkey=dFpjQXVvRVRISzAxalE3WktsdnVxdEE6MQ