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24 Hours: No Sleep, Turning Creative Ideas Into Realities at the Ford Hackathon


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MELBOURNE – Nov 21, 2013: To most people, a 24-hour day means three meals, a good night’s sleep, some time in the office and maybe a little relaxation at home before doing it all again. But for app developers at the SYNC AppLink Hackathon, 24 hours means an opportunity to turn their ideas into reality – quickly.

For the first time in Australia, Ford is hosting a SYNC AppLink Hackathon in Melbourne, providing a creative space for app developers to work around the clock staying up all night creating their pet projects.

“Hackathons help connect us not only with the latest ideas being considered by startups, but with the developer community as a whole,” said David Huang, Senior Manager, Asia Pacific, Advanced Technology & Business Development Connected Services. “By being there, and getting hands-on with these innovators, we can really find the next big app that can help drivers stay connected while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”

AppLink is a software technology for SYNC that gives drivers voice control of smartphone apps while driving. Developers can pursue any sort of idea that they think could be the next big thing in mobile computing for the car. From location-aware deal-spotting apps to programs that help drivers manage their health, anything is possible during the Hackathon.

The local developer community has been invited to participate in the SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge. The teams will use the AppLink application programming interface (API) to create new apps or extend existing apps for evaluation during final judging. Through the API’s vehicle interaction capability, these teams will have a chance to show Ford why their app is a great experience for drivers.

Ford will pick two winners with a cash prize for best all-new app and for best modification of an existing app. There is also a prize for best idea.

Ford has hosted similar events in China and America with the previous events seeing amazing ideas turn into apps that are now available in their markets.

SYNC AppLink builds on Ford’s award-wining in-vehicle-infotainment system, SYNC which provides users access to their mobile phone and digital music via voice control and steering wheel mounted controls while keeping their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. SYNC is now in more than ten million vehicles worldwide and SYNC AppLink is available in more than one million vehicles. SYNC AppLink will launch in Australia in 2014.

The Ford SYNC AppLink Hackathon will take place November 23-24 in Melbourne.