Ford originally announced the Ford Sync with Microsoft system back in January of 2007. The original announcement was during CES and featured the iPod, the Palm TREO smartphone and the Motorola RAZR flip-phone. Just that bit alone and we can see how far things have come. Ford noted that the Sync system was first available in 2007 when it came available on the 2008 Focus. In the early days of Sync, users were reportedly using the system mostly to make hands-free calls and play music. Both of these features were controllable by voice using the Nuance voice recognition. And again, we can see just how far the system has come.
Anyway, coming back to the present day and we have word from Ford that Sync with Microsoft has now been installed in more than five million vehicles. Along with the growth in vehicles using the system, the support for devices and uses has grown. In fact, Ford has stated that the some of the success comes due to the how they built-it out.
“The SYNC development team created an architecture based on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform that took advantage of open protocols like USB and Bluetooth® to enable virtually any device to be connected for media playback and communications. That decision turned out to be more prescient than anyone on the team could have imagined.”
Of course, in hind site, that seems to make perfect sense. After all, it is said that the average automobile will stay on the road for 10 years or more while the average consumer electronics device has a much shorter life span.
At this point the Ford Sync system supports Android devices as well as iOS, BlackBerry and Windows Phone. The vehicles come with goodies such as AppLink, 911 Assist, Vehicle Health Report and SYNC Services which is a cloud-based service network that offers everything from traffic reports to turn-by-turn directions, business search, news and sports scores and movie listings.
And looking forward, Ford will be launching Sync for those in Europe and Asia and notes that along with partners Microsoft and Nuance, they “are always working on new enhancements that can keep customers on the leading edge of in-car technology.” Sort of makes me want to ditch my VW and get something with Ford Sync.
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