According to a U.S. Census Bureau survey, the American worker’s commute averages 26.4 minutes each way, five days a week. At 50 weeks a year, the American workforce spends a blistering 1.8 trillion minutes commuting. Like many of you, I spend at least half of my work day in meetings and a lot of time in the car, where productivity and collaboration can be nearly impossible.
In today’s mobile world, many of us are looking for ways to make our commute time more valuable. At Cisco, we’re innovating and developing technology that helps you stay connected and productive wherever you are.
Ford and Cisco have partnered to deliver a new integration with Ford SYNC® AppLink™. With it, WebEx users can now safely join and participate in meetings from vehicles without touching or looking at their phones. We believe that this will make commuting and other drive times more productive than ever before.
Similar to how Apple users can join WebEx meetings with Siri, now drivers in Ford cars can use voice commands to join meetings. They can also use their steering-wheel buttons to join and control WebEx meetings and participate while behind the wheel. A list of upcoming meetings appears on the Ford SYNC 3 touchscreen — within the driver’s line of sight. You can simply join a meeting either by pressing the meeting on the touchscreen or using the voice command “Join WebEx Meeting.” You can use your dashboard button controls to mute and unmute audio or leave the meeting.
I am also excited that this capability will extend to other car manufacturers that are adopting SmartDeviceLink, Ford’s open-source smartphone app interface software. Manufacturers in the consortium include Subaru, Toyota, Mazda, PSA, and Suzuki. This means even more of us in the future can seamlessly stay connected and engaged in WebEx meetings while on the go.
The beta release for Android will be available at the end of March 2018, with iOS available at the end of April 2018.
Why not take a test drive? If you are at Mobile World Congress, check out this cool technology in the Ford booth in Hall 1 (location 1A82).
I look forward to hearing what you think about this feature and how it can help you. Comment below or reach me on Twitter at @javed_khan.