Sheryl Connelly is something like a walking TED talk (and indeed, she recently gave one). As Ford’s in-house futurist, it’s her job to keep her eye on the big picture—to examine trends, to think flexibly, and to imagine possibilities as much as decades away. Since being named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People earlier this year, Connelly has begun developing a “futuring” curriculum at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. And this week, she released Ford’s second annual trend book, tackling themes she projects will be relevant for the next two years—on topics like the “joy of missing out” and a reconsideration of nostalgia.
I can’t pretend to understand the logic. Ford, like many other auto manufacturers, has embraced NFC key fobs, allowing you to unlock your car without fiddling with pesky keys. And to demonstrate it, they created one of the most awesome password tools for computers ever—one that has nothing at all to do with cars.
Ford Keyfree is a Chrome extension that stores passwords for Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Then, whenever you’re near your Mac using a pre-approved smartphone, the app can “unlock” these sites automatically via Bluetooth.Your phone serves as your ID, thanks to the unique identifiers already in Bluetooth.
In an actual use case scenario, this means you can sit down to your computer, and without hitting any buttons at all, log in to your social networks. It’s freaking magic.
Ford’s new army of laser-sighted robots has the very benevolent aim of reducing wind noise in your next car.
Ford shared a frightening video of the laser-vision bot doing its work. It hovers around the car like a mechanical humming bird, all the while emitting sounds like a dental drill.