Ford, Microsoft in 'Sync' with in-car digital system
It allows drivers to connect personal electronics to their vehicles
Computerworld - Ford Motor Co. has partnered with Microsoft Corp. to launch a new factory-installed, in-car communications and entertainment system.
The Ford-exclusive technology -- based on Microsoft Auto software called Sync -- allows users to operate just about any mobile phone or digital media player using voice commands or the vehicle's steering wheel or radio controls, according to the companies. The devices connect via Bluetooth for wireless connection of phones, including those that play music, or via a USB 2.0 port for command and control and charging of digital media players, according to the statement.
Sync seamlessly integrates the vehicle with popular portable electronic devices and is upgradeable to support future devices and services, according to the companies.
Sync will debut this calendar year on the 2008 Ford Focus, Fusion, Five Hundred, Edge, Freestyle, Explorer and Sport Trac; the Mercury Milan, Montego and Mountaineer; and the Lincoln MKX and MKZ. The technology will eventually be incorporated on all Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles in the near future, according to the statement.
Sync features include the following:
- Voice-activated, hands-free calling: Users simply press the "Push to Talk" button on the steering wheel and then say the name of the person they're calling. Sync will automatically connect using the names in the mobile phone's contact list.
- Uninterrupted connections: There's no need to hang up in the middle of a cell phone call as you enter your vehicle. Simply touch the "Telephone" button on the steering wheel, and Sync will instantly connect to a Bluetooth phone.
- Audible text messages: Sync will convert text messages from your phone to audio and read them out loud. The system can also translate such commonly used text messaging expressions as "LOL." The system also allows a user to reply with any of 20 predefined responses.
- Advanced calling features: Sync includes the same features offered on mobile phones, including Caller ID, call waiting, conference calling, a caller log, a list of contacts, a signal strength icon, and a phone battery charge icon -- all shown on the radio's display screen.
- Voice-activated music: Browse the music collection on your digital media player, mobile phone or USB drive by genre, album, artist and song title, using simple voice commands.
- Instant voice recognition: Sync's advanced voice recognition technology means a user can operate his phone or digital music player with simple voice commands.
- Ring-tone support: For supported phones, Sync will play personal ring tones and unique ring tones to identify specific callers automatically.
- Automatic phone-book transfer: Sync will automatically and wirelessly transfer the names and numbers in a mobile phone book.
- Multilingual intelligence: Sync understands English, French and Spanish.
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Mobile Policy Checklist Here's what to consider when putting together a mobile policy designed to support a highly productive workforce.
- Mobile Applications Case Study: 8 Billion Transactions a Day The story documents how the online brokerage company tradeMONSTER created a custom mobile app and the success gleaned from this initiative. Also covered...
- Securing BYOD Mobile computing is becoming so ubiquitous that people no longer bat an eye seeing someone working two devices simultaneously. Individuals and organizations are...
- The Case for Mobile Apps Today's mobile apps turn handheld devices into e-book readers, portable navigation systems, digital wallets and more. And for organizations with mobile workers, they...
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Mobile Apps and Devices Slash Customer Cycle Time Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' field employees used to collect data on triplicate forms that were sometimes hard to read and difficult to manage. After...
- CDW Integrates with Google Apps for Cloud Collaboration Through a partnership with Google and Esna Technologies, CDW has rolled out native access to the CDW Cloud Collaboration suite within Google Apps. All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts