In 1983, horror film master John Carpenter brought to life Stephen King’s book Christine. The book and movie were about a 1958 Plymouth Fury possessed by the devil. While the film is camp at its finest, even by today’s standards, we’re sure somebody in Hollywood is cooking up a reboot which involves a smartphone-powered car that suddenly turns demonic. Smartphone apps have become an essential part of digital engagement and mobile marketing and car companies are releasing apps at the speed of light. From Ford to Dodge to Volkswagen and beyond, it seems every car company has a special app designed to make your car so smart, it’s downright scary.
Ford, a leader in mobile and social media marketing, gave car lovers an exclusive look at the latest in mobile/motor matrimony during the Forward with Ford conference. The company unveiled SYNC App Link, a clever little device which comes standard on many of the 2012 models and controls your favorite smartphone apps via voice control. From the safety of their driver’s seat, Ford owners can turn on Pandora, find restaurants and send tweets. The inside of most Fords even look a little like smartphones these days. My Ford Touch features the teched-out operating system most models come equipped with that uses a touchscreen interface to control the car’s basic functions.
Volkswagen has been accused of being “app happy” — and that’s no exaggeration. The company seems to release a new and much-talked-about app on a regular basis. The latest won’t help you open the door or change the channel on the radio, but it might convince to buy a new Cabriolet. To celebrate the return of the car often seen driven by movie mean girls, VeeDub has introduced an augmented reality app that gives French shoppers an inside peek at how the car works and what it looks like without ever having to enter a showroom. From an iPhone, the car can be looked at from all angles while users click on features to get a closer look at how the new Cabriolet works.
Come to think of it, maybe it isn’t the cars we should worry about turning on us and becoming evil. Maybe it’s the smartphone apps. A satanic iPhone could make for an interesting movie. Hmm… You think John Carpenter is busy?