BERLIN, Germany – Ford and Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories announced at the IFA consumer electronics show a collaboration that will see two Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories apps, AutoRead and AskWiki, updated to be compatible with Ford SYNC AppLink.
Ford also will work with Deutsche Telekom’s Developer Garden, the company’s central hub for developers and business partners that provides the application programming interfaces (APIs) necessary for app developers to access the core services of Deutsche Telekom.
The collaboration will leverage both Ford’s AppLink Software Development Kit (SDK) and the Developer Garden’s APIs to pave the way for development of new apps and opportunities in the automotive space.
“This strategic collaboration will help ensure AppLink in Europe offers compatibility with a compelling range of proven and popular apps from the get-go,” said Ed Pleet, director, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa Connected Services. “It also will give an established and successful developer community the means to create further AppLink compatible apps in the near future, a development that benefits Ford, Deutsche Telekom, mobile service providers and most importantly the consumer.”
Telekom Innovation Laboratories – the company’s research and development centre – plans to integrate its AutoRead and AskWiki apps with SYNC AppLink using Ford’s Software Development Kit and to explore further opportunities for AppLink integration into Deutsche Telekom Innovation Laboratories apps.
The AutoRead app will be controllable using voice commands and will read aloud text messages, e-mails and news using SYNC’s Text-to-Speech function, while podcasts will be streamed via Ford SYNC through the vehicle’s audio system.
Users will be able to access news and podcasts from categories including autos, sports, culture, politics, as well as define their own news channels and skip backward and forward between entries.
The AutoRead app will be demonstrated at the Ford App Lounge between 16:00 to 18:00 on Wednesday, Sept. 4; and between 10:00 and 15:00 on Thursday, Sept. 5. The app will then also be demonstrated at the Showstoppers media reception from 18:00, Sept. 5.
The AskWiki app delivers information on-demand using cloud based Google Speech Recognizer technology and database of online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, to answer questions. The AskWiki app is being developed to integrate with Ford SYNC AppLink 2.0, which will deliver voice pass-through functionality among a range of upgrades.
“AutoRead and AskWiki have proved to be two of our most popular apps, and are perfectly suited for the in-car environment,” said Dr. Susan Wegner, vice president, Internet and Services, Telekom Innovation Laboratories. “The opportunity to amplify the number of situations in which our app users can make use of Deutsche Telekom’s services through integrating with Ford SYNC AppLink is too big to miss.”
The Ford AppLink SDK is available for app developers to access via the Ford Developer Program (www.developer.ford.com
); the automotive industry’s first open mobile app developer program, offering technical support from Ford engineers and the support of a developer community.
AppLink is part of the Ford SYNC in-car connectivity system, and enables customers to voice-control smartphone apps while driving. The new Ford EcoSport SUV will be among the first Ford vehicles in Europe to offer Ford SYNC AppLink following a successful launch in North America, where more than one million Ford vehicles are already equipped with the system.