Our stuff is getting smarter: We already have cars that will call your mom if you ask nicely, phones that can answer most (but not all) of our questions and thermostats that can be controlled remotely by smart phone. Now, Ford and Amazon are teaming up, so that we'll soon be able to use voice commands in our smart cars to control all the smart things in our houses, and vice-versa. (It's about time.)
On Monday (Jan. 4), Ford announced at the 2016 Consumer Electronics show that it's working with both Amazon and the Wink home automation platform to develop the 'Sync Connect' system in Ford vehicles.
In addition to pre-scheduling an engine-start time or opening the garage door, you'll also be able to remotely pre-set things like the temperature in the car when you plan to get in it, and what time the house should turn on the porch lights when you'll be arriving home.
A report from USA Today explains that eventually drivers will "use the vehicle's Sync Connect system to use touch or voice commands to open a garage door, check a thermostat setting or turn on home lighting" while in the car, and that while at home, they "could ask a Ford smartphone app what the car's remaining driving range is or even program a time to start the engine."
The companies also have plans to incorporate Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant. Alexa works like Siri and Cortana, but through Amazon's Echo Speaker, which is meant to stay in the house, rather than a smartphone.
All this magic is definitely coming our way... eventually. According to GeekWire, "Ford didn’t provide any timeline for the planned Amazon integration. But the move is part of a broader trend of connecting vehicles to external devices and services — including smartphones, cloud services and in-home systems."