Ford Syncs Up with Microsoft
September 4, 2007 at 5:45 AM (PT)
Buyers of a dozen 2008 FORD MERCURY and LINCOLN models and all the entries in the company's lineup for 2009 will be able to enjoy a new factory-installed, in-car communications and entertainment system that could help change the way drivers use portable digital music players and mobile phones on the road, reports SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. Called SYNC, the fully-integrated, flash memory-based system provides the capability for motorists to bring onboard many popular digital devices and operate them using voice commands or button controls on the steering wheel or radio/navigation console. The exclusive digital pipeline technology, which is based on a MICROSOFT Auto operating system, includes an ARM 11 processor, 64 MB of DRAM and 256 MB of flash memory.
With SYNC, for example, the entire playlist of your APPLE IPOD (or MICROSOFT ZUNE and most USB storage devices) is available for play just by telling the car's audio system to cue it up. All you need do to set it up is to plug the device into a USB 2.0 port, let the system complete a digital handshake and then employ voice commands to select a track. Commands such as, "Play artist 'Jimi Hendrix,'" or, "Play track 'Purple Haze,'" allow full verbal control over your music library (album and genre commands also work).
In addition, cell phone calls or text messages arriving through your mobile handset can be piped in and listened to hands-free via an always-on Bluetooth connection. Up to 12 different phones can be paired up, allowing everybody in the passenger compartment to participate.
For more information, see www.syncmyride.com.