The best technology companies are experts at giving the public things they never knew they needed, and suddenly find they can't live without it. If you believe the hype from the medical community, Ford's newest application of its Sync technology is one of those things. Using its onboard entertainment system, Ford plans to help people monitor their heart rates, blood sugar levels, or allergies through the car.
The programs, which are still in development, "represent a fundamental advancement" for individuals who need constant monitoring, says William Kaiser, a professor of engineering at UCLA.
The system will work in three ways:
Connecting devices to the car via Bluetooth: Diabetic patients can have their sugar read by the car while driving, through a Medtronic device. The system could alert drivers about low sugar levels before it becomes a potential hazard – diabetic patients can pass out when their sugar levels are too low – or it can read out children's blood sugar levels so parents can know on the go.
Allergy alerts: The Sync system will link in with SDI Health and www.pollen.com to alert drivers when allergies are high. It can also route drivers away from traffic areas that might have alarming smog levels.
Click the image below to watch a video demo of the Sync allergy alert system:
Patient coaching: Through WellDoc, a company that provides health information on mobile devices, drivers can access health information and get coached virtually.
Ford says the services are still in the prototype and research phase. It is looking at other applications that would use Sync to lower driver stress levels and encourage relaxation.
Image source: Ford