The Roximity app (Photo : Ford Motor Company)
With the Ford-backed launch of a location-aware real-time app for iOS devices this week, an idea comes to fruition that was the idea of three guys who needed backing and saw an opportunity in a contest.
Last year, Danny Newman, Joe Mease, and Austin Gayer of Denver discovered that Ford was going to invest in the app idea of whoever won its SYNC App Developer Challenge at the 2011 TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in San Francisco. Their idea at that time was, in Ford's words, "nothing more than a seed of an idea scribbled in a notebook", but they decided it was worth a shot, entered the contest, and won.
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Their brainchild, Proximity, is an app compatible with Apple smartphones (an android-capable model is being developed) that can also be integrated with SYNC AppLink, Ford's own mobile communication and entertainment technology. The app can be operated by voice command, and can be programed to alert the user where there are food or retail deals in the area that might be of interest to them.
"This app is really complimented by the car," Newman said in a statement. "We know that when you are on the road and on the go, you may want to know the best deals for food, gas and shopping. Or, you may be on a trip and don't know the area and just need to take a quick break. Roximity helps make the most of your time. It is like your own personal intelligent sidekick."
"It's great to be a part of Roximity from the beginning," said Stefan Bankowski, Ford SYNC AppLink engineer. "When they pitched the idea, we knew this had the potential to be a driver's best friend. Adding voice control to check for deals and specials adds a layer of convenience to driving, and allows drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. Ford is always looking to collaborate with innovators. With the fast pace of development in the tech industry, we know great ideas are out there, we just need to find them and provide access to our SYNC platform, just like we did with ROXIMITY."