How often has it happened: enjoying This American Life on NPR while in the car, only to miss the last 10 minutes because you've now arrived at your destination and can't stay to catch the end? Probably quite a lot, since the program has around 1.8 million listeners. But no more, oh lovers of National Public Radio. Providing, of course, you drive a new Ford.
Ford and NPR have launched the Sync AppLink/NPR News app at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where drivers can catch their favorite NPR programs whenever they wish and access them just by using voice commands. They can also dictate which subjects they would like to listen to - like business or science - and tell the system to deliver regular news updates. And with on-demand content, users can "fast forward" to the part they missed previously, without having to listen through the whole thing again.
"NPR has been a trusted companion to drivers for more than 40 years and we are thrilled to be the first major news organization to release our own in-car app," said Gary Knell, NPR's president and CEO. One of the stars from Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me is Carl Kassel, whose helpful contribution to uninitiated users goes thus:
"Hi, this is Carl Kasell, I'm here to help you get the most out of your NPR experience. Your favorite stations are accessible through the number buttons on your dash. Press once to listen. Press again to discover more from that station. However, no matter how many times you press, I won't magically appear in your car. Sorry."
This is just one Sync app introduced at CES. Another is Roximity, which "provides real-time deals and specials relevant to a user's location." The app would know if there was a special at a favorite restaurant in the vicinity, for example.