"Ford Sync hits the street"
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Roadshow Video Reviews
Roadshow Video Reviews
Ford Sync hits the street
>> So many damn portable devices. And you get in your
car and there's a mix of ways to connect them. It's
kind of chaotic, right? Well, let's see what Microsoft
and Ford have done with a system called Sync. We've
showed it to you before, but now it's going into
production, rolling out in real Ford cars. Let's give
it a real test.
^M00:00:16 [ Music ]^M00:00:18
>> Now first of all let me refresh you on what Sync is.
It's a combination of USB or Bluetooth connectivity for
portables to the head unit in the car. For example,
here inside the compartment of the console, here's a
unit hooked up to a USB jack right here on the console
wall. They've got this working for just about every
portable out there. You can hook up an iPod this way.
You can also hook up phones to this via Bluetooth.
Whether it's a Dash, a Razor, a Trio, you hook that up
via Bluetooth via hands-free calling and to stream media
off the phone if you have some on there. I'll show you
that in a minute. Here's what it looks like on the
screen. You've got the usual AM, FM, other satellite
radio, CD, and here's User Device. That's a whole new
menu we're seeing. Look at this button here. Source.
If I press that I'm toggling between Bluetooth
streaming, hit it again, and then my USB jack is lined
up. Very interesting. Now here in my phone menu, I can
also go change and pair to one of either of the two
Bluetooth phones. There are to Bluetooth radios in this
car. It's a key thing to realize. So you can have one
device paired as a phone and another one can be paired
as a media player simultaneously. Now let's go back to
the media menu. Bluetooth Streaming, and let's see if
we can hear that. Sure enough, there it is. One thing
you'll notice is when you're on Bluetooth you don't get
as rich of a read-out of the track information, nor is
your entire library of track information, the meta data,
up-loaded. That is done when you're using USB. Now I'm
going to send a text message from this Trio, and I'm
going send a message to this car. There's my message.
I'm using an emoticon in there. I'll go ahead and send
now. Now while that's arriving let me show you a couple
of nice things here. The Bluetooth technology that
we're using is able to echo not just things like the
call status and the number you're dialing and all of
that, but here's a battery charge indicator, and also
here's a signal strength indicator icon. That's nice.
Okay, that means my message just came in. Now notice I
can view it and see it exactly as it was sent. Okay.
There it is. Or I can listen to it. Now here's the
real challenge. Let's see how that sounds.
>> Car: Hey Brian. How's the Sync system? Laughing
out loud. See you later. Happy smiley.
>> Okay, not bad. Not bad. Especially considering that
there's so many ways to compose a message. Okay, I got
my message, I heard it, and I want to reply. I hit the
reply button right here, and here are a variety of
prepopulated replies. I can scroll through quite a few
of these right here. Now at this point that's your only
choice within this system to reply. Later on they say
they will enable it so you can create your own replies
and feed those or populate those in the list as well.
One thing Microsoft and Ford are crowing about is how
good their voice recognition is with things like artist
names and tracks. Let's face it, artist names can be
weird for a system like this to figure out. So let's
try one here. User device.
>> Car: USB. Please say a command.
>> Play artist Beyonce.
>> Car: Playing artist Beyonce.
>> Not bad. That's not the most obvious artist name for
a computer to figure out. Oh, by the way, I know the
question you want to ask. Does it work with the iPhone.
Yes, Microsoft has tested it, and it does work through a
combination of USB and auxiliary feed for the audio.
Interesting. Now let's talk about the availability.
Lincolns will have this standard for the '08 model year
cars. Many of the high-end Fords will as well, and a
whole lot of cars are going to have it by '09. Price
point, around $400.
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