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Ford story told with VR

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Ford has recently launched a virtual reality app that allows racing enthusiasts to experience the sites and sounds of a major car race, all from the comfort of their couch.

Picture yourself standing trackside at one of the biggest auto races in the world, next to one of the hottest supercars ever made. The sights, the sounds – all of it so intense. Only you’re not really there, you’re thousands of miles away in your bed.

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The new Ford virtual reality app makes all of this possible. Launched for iOS and Android users in the United States, Ford’s new virtual reality app delivers a powerful storytelling platform for consumers and fans to experience Ford innovations like never before.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to provide truly immersive experiences that showcase the best of Ford Motor Company,” says Lisa Schoder, Ford digital marketing manager. “Our virtual reality platform allows us to tell dramatic, impactful stories, to show a surprising side of Ford.”

The first piece of featured content is the story behind the all-new Ford GT’s return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Fifty years after the original victory, the innovative balance of power and efficiency in Ford’s EcoBoost engine delivered an incredible class win earlier this year. Outside the U.S., viewers can watch the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/8sla9kSxO8I

“Just as Ford GT goes beyond the traditional at Ford, our entry into virtual reality content creation demonstrates how our passion for innovation permeates every piece of our business and offers a new touch point for tech-savvy consumers to connect with our brand,” says Schoder.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship; Continental Tire Road Race Showcase; Road America; Ford Performance; 5-7 August 2016; Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, USA; 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT; Joey Hand, Dirk Müller; © 2016, Wes Duenkel

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship; Continental Tire Road Race Showcase; Road America; Ford Performance; 5-7 August 2016; Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, USA; 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT; Joey Hand, Dirk Müller; © 2016, Wes Duenkel

To help achieve its goals, Ford partnered with integrated production company Tool of North America, a leader in virtual reality and 360-degree content and mobile app creation. Tool has won numerous awards for innovation in storytelling, including Emmys, The One Show, South by Southwest, AICP and the Cannes Lions Palme d’Or.

“As an auto and racing enthusiast, I was inspired by the opportunity and the challenge of helping the iconic Ford brand make its virtual reality debut,” says Erich Joiner, director and founder, Tool of North America. “For the innovative Ford GT, I wanted to create something that gives people an exciting virtual reality experience beyond the traditional. I wanted to use the immersive technology not only to transport them to a new place, but to take them where only a special few from the Ford racing team typically go – inside the famed track at Le Mans.”

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship; Continental Tire Road Race Showcase; Road America; Ford Performance; 5-7 August 2016; Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, USA; 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT; Joey Hand, Dirk Müller; © 2016, Wes Duenkel

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship; Continental Tire Road Race Showcase; Road America; Ford Performance; 5-7 August 2016; Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, USA; 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT; Joey Hand, Dirk Müller; © 2016, Wes Duenkel

The Ford virtual reality app is accessible to anyone with a mobile device. Each piece of content offers users the option to experience it with a virtual reality headset, but headsets are not mandatory.

Ford virtual reality app users can expect the next story to debut in September, featuring Hoonigan Racing’s Ken Block and Ford Focus RS RX. Users with their push notifications turned on will get the update when new content goes live.

The new virtual reality platform goes beyond showcasing Ford Performance vehicles.

“On top of sharing virtual reality stories about our innovative products, we are also looking to bring mobility issues to the forefront,” says Schoder. “As we expand our business to be both an auto and a mobility company, we are pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility.”

You can download the app now for iOS and Android devices.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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