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Ford's Glucose Monitor & the New Infotainment Model
7/7/2011

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Ford is working with SDI Health and www.pollen.com to sync-enable an Allergy Alert app  to provide day-by-day index levels for pollen, asthma, cold, and cough forecasts. 
 Source: Ford Motor Co.
Ford is working with SDI Health and www.pollen.com to sync-enable an Allergy Alert app
to provide day-by-day index levels for pollen, asthma, cold, and cough forecasts.
Source: Ford Motor Co.

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Alexander Wolfe
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Finally, Sensible Display Usage
Alexander Wolfe   7/6/2011 11:35:08 AM
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It's great to see that big center console screen in the car being used for something which is intriniscally valuable, as opposed to another (dangerous) entertainment distraction. Hoping we will see more stuff like this going forward.

Rob Spiegel
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Blogger
Re: Finally, Sensible Display Usage
Rob Spiegel   7/6/2011 11:41:08 AM
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Wow. With long commutes, I can understand how consumers would be attracted to these advances. Our cars are like a personal room. Why not personal attributes? The big question is whether these features become a competitive feature for consumers.

Douglas Smock
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Platinum
Give Me a Break
Douglas Smock   7/6/2011 11:57:38 AM
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The 5 percent of the population who want these kinds of devices are probably part of the 30 percent who text while they drive creating insanely dangerous driving conditions.  Only severe diabetics may need to know their sugar levels while in a car. If a passenger, they can do a test quickly on their own. If driving, they should pull over and do a test. This is an example of the excessive cost that General Motors and Ford pile into cars, making them economically unattractive. There's a significant part of the population that wants cars that get us from Point A to Point B in a safe, efficient, and reasonably economic manner. And I'll bet it's a lot more than 5 percent. OK, I'll calm down now and check my blood pressure with my Bluetooth system.

Jennifer Campbell
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Gold
Why stop there?
Jennifer Campbell   7/6/2011 12:00:21 PM
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Cool story, Chuck, if not a bit random. While it's important for diabetics to monitor glucose levels and have a system that could possibly save them from an accident while driving, why stop there? What about people with heart conditions, for example, or a system that could tell if a pregnant woman is going into labor?

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Give Me a Break
Beth Stackpole   7/6/2011 12:35:52 PM
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Sure, glucose monitors and heart monitors (and labor monitors) have a certain appeal and obviously some utility. Yet I agree with Doug that an alert going off while behind the wheel on a highway or while in a traffic situation might be more of a dangerous distraction and pose a huge safety issue. And here's something else to consider: If someone is that infirm that they need constant monitoring, should they really get behind the wheel?

Charles Murray
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Re: Give Me a Break
Charles Murray   7/6/2011 12:56:55 PM
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I don't know how Ford will market this but, theoretically, cost shouldn't be a big issue, since the wearer of the monitor doesn't buy it from Ford. The idea is that the platform (in this case, Sync), allows you to bring other electronic products into the vehicle at minimal effort and cost. That said, I agree with you, Doug -- I don't want e-mail, glucose monitors or Internet in my vehicle. Unless there's a ball game on, I don't even want the radio most of the time. We need more "A to B" types of vehicles.  

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Give Me a Break
Rob Spiegel   7/6/2011 3:34:33 PM
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I think the real solution here is Google's self-driving car. Google has proven a car can drive itself from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We can really make use of onboard electronic devices if we're passengers in our own cars.

Jack Rupert, PE
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Platinum
Re: Give Me a Break
Jack Rupert, PE   7/6/2011 4:58:47 PM
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I'm with you Douglas.  Why is Ford even developing something like this?  I sounds like something that should be on your smart phone.  The part I really don't understand is how / why Ford is picking things for their engineering group to develop.  It seems it would make more sense for them to create a platform and then simply "allow" those 3rd-party developed functions that they see fit.

Lauren Muskett
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Platinum
What about the passenger?
Lauren Muskett   7/7/2011 10:55:26 AM
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Everyone is focused on the driver being distracted by having this monitoring system, but maybe this is something that could expand to help the passenger. If the passenger needs constant glucose monitoring and the car alerts the driver, the driver could safely pull over and help or take them to a nearby hospital. I like all the new infotainment going into cars and think most of the applications are geared on driving safer.

Charles Murray
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Blogger
Re: What about the passenger?
Charles Murray   7/7/2011 11:13:43 AM
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You're exactly right, Lauren. If a child in the backseat -- or anyone in the vehicle -- has unsafe blood sugar levels, the glucose monitor can alert the driver though Ford Sync.

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