New Ford SYNC App Offers Allergy Data

Drivers of Ford SYNC AppLink-equipped vehicles now can check allergy, pollen, asthma, flu, and UV conditions on the go with the Allergy Alert app, which lets them check current forecasts using simple voice commands.

Allergy Alert is now compatible with Ford SYNC AppLink to give drivers a safe way to check the potential for scratchy eyes, sore throats and runny noses while on the go.

"Mobile health apps are changing the way consumers manage their own wellness, and Ford SYNC provides the platform to extend this growing trend to the driving experience," explained Doug VanDagens, global director of Ford Connected Services, in a statement. "The SYNC AppLink-enabled Allergy Alert app allows drivers to quickly check current and upcoming pollen and other health risk conditions with simple voice commands while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road."

Through the app's pollen index rating, drivers can request to hear the types of allergen conditions they are likely to encounter that might cause a flare-up in personal allergy symptoms. The app also provides a risk index for asthma, flu/cough/cold and ultraviolet rays.

"We are attempting to create the car that cares," says Gary Strumolo, global manager of Ford Research and Innovation, in the statement. "We want to change the paradigm that in-car connectivity systems such as SYNC can only be used for information and entertainment purposes. Health and wellness are key issues for our customers outside of the car; therefore, we want to leverage our connectivity platform to improve their time behind the wheel. The trend in mobile health is all about knowing potential health concerns before they happen so that they don't surprise a person, even while driving."

The voice commands and features include:

  • "Current location" updates the driver's location using the car's built-in GPS receiver to report the most accurate and up-to-date information
  • "Allergy" provides a verbal pollen index to users that rates the severity of pollen levels in the surrounding environment on a scale from 0 to 12
  • "Pollen" specifies that pollens are predominantly in the air
  • "Asthma" uses a 0 to 12 scale to address potential and upcoming concerns for asthmatics
  • "Flu" addresses the current and upcoming flu index and report
  • "UV" tells drivers of the current and upcoming risks of UV rays
  • "ZIP 1," "ZIP 2" and "ZIP 3" stores up to three ZIP codes in the settings menu of users' device. The first ZIP code is the default location when not using the GPS position. The second and third ZIP enable users to store ZIP codes outside of their current area, such as a mother storing the ZIP code of her child's school

The SYNC AppLink-enabled version of Allergy Alert is available for iOS devices and is a free app that can be downloaded from the App Store.

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