Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainabili Ioanna is a writer at TNW. She covers the full spectrum of the European tech ecosystem, with a particular interest in startups, sustainability, green tech, AI, and EU policy. With a background in the humanities, she has a soft spot for social impact-enabling technologies.
Ford has a weird habit of extravagant marketing strategies. I’ll never forget the petrol-scented perfume the company launched to accompany the electric Mustang Mach-E GT. I mean, who doesn’t want to smell like gasoline?
But now there’s a new marketing campaign to wrap our heads around: online conference calling for… EVs.
As if the Zoom fatigue of the past two years and the transformation of our homes into working spaces weren’t enough, Ford has a vision of your car becoming the “best mobile office.”
To make this happen, the automaker has teamed up with Cisco, which will integrate its Webex video conferencing app into the infotainment systems of Ford’s new EVs — like the F-150 Lightning, for instance.
You can take a look at the promo video below:
Called “Webex on the Go,” the app enables potential in-car workers to access meetings hands-free with voice activation.
Plus, to make sure that background noise won’t be an issue — because say, you hop on a meeting while driving your kids to school — Ford will also integrate Webex Audio Intelligence, so people can use the Optimize for My Voice feature.
And don’t you worry about being distracted while driving. Because the online calls will be restricted to audio mode when the vehicle’s on the move, video will only be activated when the car’s parked.
After all, everyone knows that it’s impossible to get distracted by being fired when you only hear it — you’ve got to see the person who’s consigning you to poverty for your attention to waver.
As per Darren Palmer, Vice President, Ford Electric Vehicle Programs:
We don’t see why people wouldn’t be using their vehicles as a fantastic quality office.
Well, I can think of a few reasons.
Imagine having an important meeting while your children are fighting in the back seat. Or say a meeting lasts longer than expected, will you just park somewhere and stay inside your car for an extra hour?
But, most importantly, in-car online meetings invade another personal space. Your commute shouldn’t be an extension of your work, but a time you can use to relax and rewind.
I can understand the use of such apps in autonomous vehicles, but until we’re there, a vehicle’s purpose is to take you places — not to serve as a mobile office.
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