Your social network is now safely available in the car
Ford moves to integrate the world's first voice-based social media network in all of its connected vehicles.
The days of putting your connected world on hold while you drive will soon be coming to an end.
U.S. auto giant Ford has announced a new partnership with HearMeOut, the world's first hands-free, voice-based social networking app. A product of Israel's booming start-up culture, the app will be integrated into Ford's SYNC AppLink dashboard within its vehicles. Not only will you be able to record, share, and listen to audio clips within your car, you'll also be able to do it without ever taking your eyes off the road.
"What Facebook and Twitter do to the world of text, Instagram to pictures, and Vine to video, HearMeOut is doing for the audio world," co-founder Issy Livian recently said.
In addition to offering a hands-free experience, HearMeOut also bills itself as a more authentic social network. Since you're hearing actual audio clips, you'll know if the celebrities you follow on social media are the real deal or just a digital marketing team. Whether its Natalie Portman talking about her latest film or Jerry Seinfeld sharing a new joke, you'll never wonder again.
Livian, a graduate of Bar-Ilan University in Israel, explained that HearMeOut isn't looking to compete with Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. It seeks instead to bridge the gap for those wanting to stay in touch while on the go.
"It's the only social network that is safe to use while you drive," he added. "It's entirely voice-operated. You get in the car and you say 'HearMeOut' and it will launch, record, and share. And because the app syncs automatically with Facebook and Twitter, you'll have the entire social media experience while you're driving without having to risk your life or other people's lives."
HearMeOut is just one of several ideas from the software development community that Ford is looking to integrate in future vehicles. The automaker's recent 24-hour "Hackathon" competitions in countries like China, Australia, Israel and Brazil have been a big draw for entrepreneurs, tech teams and independent developers. As Don Butler, executive director of connected vehicle and services at Ford, recently told CNBC, today's connected environment means it's no longer good enough to just be a car company.
"We need to adopt more and more of a mindset of a software or services company," he said. "Meaning partnership will be key and being open and being inviting will be key."
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