Ford Key-Free Technology Can Unlock Your Car and Sign You Into Facebook

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Between work and personal emails, bank accounts and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, it's not uncommon to have as many as a dozen different sites you log onto and off of throughout the day. Having to remember various passwords leads to log-in fatigue, which is what Ford Europe is trying to cure with a new consumer technology it's making available.

With a new app developed by Ogilvy, Paris, Ford is applying technology inspired by its key-free system -- whereby certain Ford models automatically unlock when an owner comes in close proximity to his/her car, and locks when he/she walks away -- to consumers' digital lives. The technology works on MacOS computers with Google Chrome and Bluetooth mobile devices.

Here's what happens: When you come close to your computer with your mobile device, it will automatically log you into your accounts; once you walk away, it will log you out. It's hands-free, and is meant to work whether you take your phone out and leave it on your desk, or in your pocket.

In its initial launch, the app is being made available on the Ford France website. The app language is intuitive so it should automatically configure to the language of your computer's operating system, according to Ogilvy, Paris.

The intent is to go global in site registrations after the initial launch.

Said Jean-Luc GĂ©rard, chairman and managing director for Ford France, in a statement to Ad Age: "Ford now offers a range of useful technologies that make life easier for our customers and make our cars safer. Ford key-free log-in serves the same purpose, but for our computers."

"Ford key-free technology is built on a strong digital belief: Don't try to reinvent the wheel," said Fred Levron, exec director and head of digital and brand entertainment at Ogilvy, Paris, in a statement. "Don't build from scratch. Don't force people to adapt when they already manage based on current habits. Rather, leverage what they are already using."

The launch of the key-free log-in app is part of a focus by Ford in Europe to market its various technological developments using non-traditional means. In another recent example, Ogilvy worked on an out-of-home stunt that encouraged drivers to play bumper cars with their everyday vehicles to promote Ford's Active Park Assist technology. For more on that, go here..

Our take? It's a neat idea but in an era of massive privacy concerns, the key to success for both key-free and key-free login will be getting customers to trust it. And of course, there's always the danger customers become so reliant on the Ford app's storing their passwords that they forget them entirely.

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