Sync My Ride
Ford's 2008 vehicle line-up may have a new slogan. Intel Inside.
OK, so they won't have Intel processors. (At least not this time.) What they will have is a fully integrated electronics system. The new system is called "Sync" and comes from a union between the Microsoft Corporation and the Ford Motor Company. The name comes from the systems ability to "sync up" all of your electronic goodies and use them while driving.
The main components include an ARM 11 Processing Unit, 256MB of flash memory and 64MB of DRAM. All of which will be updatable via a USB 2.0 port located somewhere near the stereo. There are also controls on the steering wheel to increase ease of use.
The system will enable up to 12 different cellular phones to connect to a hands-free Bluetooth Unit that is always on. The system will also be able to copy entire phonebooks and store them for voice activation. It is also programed to work with Spanish and Canadian French.
Sync works with the ever-popular text messaging system as well. It will read back incoming texts as they come in. Unfortunately, there is not yet a way to translate speech back into a text reply.
The most impressive feature of Microsoft's system is the audio system's ability to sort, archive and even compare music. After plugging in your MP3 player, the system will take a few minutes to sort and categorize the tracks. You can voice-activate by arist, track, or even have the system choose a similar song. This is accomplished by using complex algorithms to compare acoustic characteristics and finding a similarly composed track.
It's not quite as advanced as OnStar when it comes to the driver help section, but the myriad of voice-activated goodies earns this a top 10 spot on my "must have just to show off" list. Maybe Microsoft will make an update that includes turn-by-turn directions?
Source : CNETGeorge Delozier