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OT: I am a bit of a cynic(Ford and Microsoft content)


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But can you think of a product that inspires less consumer confidence than this one??


Sync technology



Ford and Microsoft in Sync for in-car infotainment



As we first reported in December, Ford and Microsoft have been busy working in collaboration on in-car communications and entertainment, to be unveiled this week at CES. Well, here we are today at CES, and we can spill the beans on details of the system to be marketed under the name "Sync."

(Credit: Microsoft)


Initially to be made available in twelve 2008 models across the Ford family and across the entire 2009 lineup from FoMoCo, the service will be a fully-integrated, flash memory-based system that enables drivers to call hands-free and to control a range of digital audio via voice commands and buttons mounted on the steering wheel. The system is based on an a Microsoft Auto operating system comprising an ARM 11 processor, 64MB of DRAM and 256MB of flash memory. Microsoft tells us that its software will be updatable, probably via the USB port.


The major interface for Sync-enabled cars will be a small text display that shows up on the stereo head unit or on a display nestled in the instrument cluster. For hands-free calling, the system will enable car occupants to pair up to 12 different phones via an always-on Bluetooth connection. As with some of the more advanced factory-installed hands-free systems we've seen, Sync will automatically copy phone books from cell phones or other Bluetooth-enabled wireless devices. These entries are then cataloged by the system, which enables callers to place calls using voice commands; the system's voice recognition system has settings for English, Spanish, and Canadian French.


Text-to-voice technology also means that the system will read aloud incoming text messages as they arrive. While there is no means of dictating a verbatim reply, Sync gives drivers the option of replying to texts with one of a number of stock responses programmed by voice command and sent as text.


Isn't that an invitation for trouble?????

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WTF? Why should a person be entertained when driving? You're driving two thousand pounds of metal with a tank full of fuel strapped to it's belly...doesn't seem like a great time to be watching a DVD.



Doesn't say anything about controlling video or DVD's. It controls a music player and an always on Bluetooth connection that pairs up with phones. So basically, they are taking a couple of the more distracting activities people participate in while driving (fiddling with iPods and talking on phones) and making them handsfree/less distracting.


Assuming it works correctly, I think it would be pretty cool, but I doubt it will work as seamlessly as it could.


Also, I now want to create a cd with a random track in the middle that goes something "Call Home. Hang up Phone. Turn on Music. Call Mom. Hang up. Call Dad. Hang up. etc etc etc" Just to see what would happen.

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