If smart home features still sound like some far-off wave of the future, it may interest you to know that somewhere in the neighborhood of one half of consumers surveyed said they were planning to purchase at least one smart home product in the coming year (this according to Icontrol Networks). If this up and coming technology interests you, you might then be interested in how your vehicle can talk to these devices as well. Today we’ll look at how, according to recent plans unveiled in Las Vegas at the CES event, Ford plans to integrate the SYNC infotainment system with smart home technologies like Amazon Echo and Alexa.
What are Echo and Alexa, and how do they interact?
Alright, so if you’re not yet familiar with Amazon Echo and Alexa, here are the basics:
- Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker and voice command device (pictured right). Basically, you talk to it, it tells you things, plays music, reads audiobooks… it can even adjust your lighting and other outlets with connected devices.
- Alexa, then, is the cloud-based voice service that Echo connects with in order to understand your questions or instructions and connect to the internet and other devices (like your car – more on that coming up!) for all sorts of purposes, from setting an alarm to seeing what time the Broncos play next Sunday. All you have to do is say, “Alexa…” and the enabled device will be at your service.
>> Related Reading: How to Pair Phones with Ford SYNC
How will Ford Sync Work with Amazon Echo and Alexa?
Basically, the SYNC Connect technology will link to the Alexa voice service, so from your car you’ll be able to control things at home – for example, your porch light, garage door, or secuirty system, and from home you’ll be able to interact with your vehicle in ways such as finding out your fuel level, locking and unlocking the door, or activating remote start and temperature control.
So in theory (and soon enough, in practice), from the comfort of your easy chair on a given weeknight, you’ll be able to tell Alexa to set the alarm in your bedroom or on your phone for 7:00am, start your car at 8:30am and get the cabin temperature up 75 degrees.
When will smart home technology from Echo, Alexa, and others be available in your Ford vehicle, and which models can you expect to see it in first? We’ll be sure to keep you in the know as we find more out, as we’re definitely looking forward to helping our customers learn more about these incredible integrated products and features!
Got a smartwatch yet? >> Learn how to use the Ford app with it here
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