Ford is studying in-car health monitoring with apps to keep track of allergens in the area, for instance, and roll up the windows. There is no provision to automatically dispense Kleenex and wipe your nose.
In combination with the Sync system, the company is figuring out ways to monitor blood glucose levels and possibly recommend a snack for diabetics. “Eat the orange slices, fool, before you hit that tree.”
Ford reports progress in making a car seat with sensors that will detect irregular heart activity through clothing, warn the driver, call a medical center, maybe stop the car.
One thing Ford is not working on is a device to monitor blood alcohol and keep drunks from getting behind the wheel. While that might provide great public safety benefits, it will not likely appeal to the millions of drinkers out there.
I think all this concern for driver health is simply wonderful. The company tells us:
Health of mind, body and spirit is a significant slice of a larger global health and wellness trend that is transcending multiple generations, spectrums and industries. So-called healthy homes, allergen-free cleaners and products, and the cosmetic and bariatric surgery boon, for example, are all converging to create an eclectic mash-up that is redefining health and wellness for today’s consumer.
Americans are becoming as fixated on health as they are on cell phones. As they spend more and more time driving (or sitting in traffic), it was a foregone conclusion that marketers would finally figure out how to bring health monitors into the car space.
But their eclectic mash-ups are monitoring the wrong things. I want an app to tell me when my teeth need cleaning, when my breath stinks, where the next clean rest room is.
You know, something that uses Bluetooth to tell me when I need a root canal.
Or how about a seat that measures driver involvement with all these superfluous things and then turns them off?
Is Ford going too far with its invasion of what they have called “this automotive whitespace area”?