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Ford Using Kaliki for Audio Playback of News in Cars

With Kaliki Audio Newsstand and Ford SYNC AppLink, commuting time can now be put to better use by consuming some of the compelling newspaper and magazine content that we want to get to, but just never seem to find the time to read, says Ford Motor Company.

In 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated 140 million Americans spent more than two hours per day in their vehicles, with 50 minutes spent on commute time alone, says Ford.

With Kaliki Audio Newsstand, Ford drivers can stay on top of their favorite news and magazine stories without taking their eyes off the road, says the company.

Kaliki is a new smartphone app for Android devices that curates the top news stories from major newspapers and magazines and provides an audio version for on-demand playback in the vehicle.

“Kaliki demonstrates how we can quickly work with new apps that are adding convenience to the lives of our customers and integrate them into the car through SYNC AppLink,” said Doug VanDagens, global director of Ford Connected Services.

All of this is available to Ford vehicles equipped with SYNC AppLink, an in-car connectivity system and smartphone interface. When a smartphone is Bluetooth-paired with SYNC, the driver just needs to press the voice button on the steering wheel to voice-request Kaliki without ever touching the phone.

As soon as the app launches, the driver is prompted to select a publication by speaking the name of the newspaper or magazine. The app will automatically start playing the list of available stories from that source.

If the driver wants to listen to another program, it is just a button press away with the voice command “Programs – [name of program].” The driver can pause the playback or skip to the next or previous story at any time by tapping the play/pause or track buttons on the steering wheel or radio.

All content is fed to the driver’s ears while hands stay on the steering wheel and eyes stay on the road.

Kaliki Audio Newsstand is free of charge to SYNC users. The SYNC AppLink-enabled Android app is available now in the Google Play Store and a version for iPhone will be available in the Apple App Store later this month. It was announced today, Jan. 7.

SYNC AppLink is available on more than 1 million vehicles; it is available on 2013 Fiesta, Mustang, Expedition, Fusion, F-150, Super Duty, Focus, E-Series and C-MAX.

Photo courtesy: Ford Motor Company

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