The pandemic pushed many of us to think creatively about our workspaces. We not only transformed our living rooms, kitchen tables, and she-sheds as alternatives to the office but now, we are looking to our cars, too. Last week, we shared news about an exciting partnership with Ford Motor Company to provide a secure and immersive collaboration experience in Ford vehicles. The partnership is a great example of the Webex innovation that is enabling new, flexible experiences in the hybrid work era.
Hybrid work is here to stay – the physical place where we sit while working doesn’t matter nearly as much as how we enable work to get done. Today’s drivers expect and want both the comforts and technology amenities that they could get while working in a home office or company site. Perhaps you have a long business trip ahead and want to stay on top of tasks whenever you take breaks. Or maybe you are on a job site and need to collaborate with your team back at the firm. And what about the times you need to take a meeting between dropping the kids off at soccer practice and picking up groceries?
Modern cars should also offer much more than just a screen, too. Multiple immersive displays can provide rich and safe experiences while driving or when parked. The modern car can be reimagined to complement the demands of hybrid work on the go. Whether you need to get some work done between client visits or a change of scene, a native Webex app that works right within your car’s touchscreen could be the gateway to keeping work flowing and a seamless, collaborative experience.
Most of us are used to connecting our phones to our cars over Bluetooth—the most basic way of connecting the car’s microphone and speakers with your phone and the Webex app. We have also provided great options for Apple CarPlay (and Android Auto coming soon), which enables some of the app’s familiar controls to be safely available when in the car. While Bluetooth connectivity is good and CarPlay/Auto integrations make things better, building apps natively for the car is clearly the best. Being able to safely take meetings/calls while driving is key to all these experiences but unlocking fully immersive meetings when safely parked is equally important.
At Webex, we want to provide the best experience in a car – by natively building our apps to make full use of immersive displays. These native integrations will transform a car from just a vehicle you use for commuting.
Imagine your car as a full-fledged home office that you can not only work from but even have the same vehicle generating your home in the event of a power outage. Ford is on the trajectory to do this.
Security and safety are top priorities for both Ford and Webex, so we’re not only making sure the drivers and passengers are safe but also making sure we reduce distractions. The Webex solution only uses audio if deployed while driving. When your car is safely parked – you can get more robust Webex collaboration experiences, like secure video meetings, integrated audio, and content sharing.
“Optimize for My Voice”, Webex’s proprietary audio intelligence, enhances the experience for the driver and any passenger who needs to work from the vehicle, making it easier to hear and be heard by singling out and boosting the clarity of an individual’s voice while eliminating distracting background noise and conversations.
Modern 5G infrastructure is opening opportunities to connect experiences for customers, dealerships, and even supply chain resources, too. Field service engineers can be called on to provide assistance–regardless of where they are in the world – to troubleshoot and solve technical issues for drivers.
Virtual assistants in cars are enabling technicians to diagnose and repair a vehicle and get it back on the road without delay, resulting in greater customer satisfaction. This technology can increase productivity and reduce customer repair tickets that would normally go through the dealership. This also opens the door for more automated predictive maintenance and maintenance services.
Webex is even helping move space travel forward with a state-of-the-art, purpose-built version of Webex onboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft to help test collaboration technologies that could be used in future missions for deep space exploration or even here on earth with challenging network conditions.
With Webex, we want you to have a consistent experience no matter where you work—from the home office to the car’s touchscreen, to the office, and everywhere in between (even in deep space). These are elevated hybrid work experiences, that enable you to work from any number of settings and personalized spaces that accommodate the flexible nature of a hybrid work culture and the sensitivities of the post-Covid era.
We’re really excited about our role in enabling next generation collaboration and constantly thinking about the ways Webex needs to evolve for a changing workforce. Our innovation engine is humming with creative ways to help organizations reimagine workspaces so they are personalized, app aware, inclusive, secure, and interoperable. Stay tuned – we’re powering a new way of collaborating that’s centered around the work you do, not where you do it—whether it’s in the office, at home, in the car, or anywhere in between.
Webex by Cisco Reimagines Hybrid Work Experiences [press release]