Ford HMIEnlarge Photo
Given the shrinking attendance at the North American International Auto Show, many folks were worried that this weekend might be a bust. They shouldn't have: halfway across the country, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, several automakers are making big splashes on the technology front. The best reveal so far? Ford's demo video showing not only an upgraded version of its SYNC info and telecommunications system, but also the interior of a sweet new Lincoln concept.
The improved Sync has all the bells and whistles of a Jetsons cartoon: a streamlined, linear layout positioned at the top of the dashboard, which should be a better match for drivers' sightlines than the current, square, mid-dash models. The voice interaction appears casual and conversational, and the range of information available through the system--including email and webpages--is impressive. Also: SYNC provides a digital assistant named Eva, and she looks far more real than some other digital personalities we could name. We'll see if she makes the transition to the finished product.
The Lincoln concept's interior is beautiful, bright, and glassy--a welcome change in today's design landscape littered with squinty windows on tank-like cars. There's no way to tell what the exterior might look like, but given the roomy interior and clean lines, I'm going to guess it'll be like a Barcelona chair on wheels.
My favorite part, though, has to be the video's plot, which is absolutely ridiculous. Watch how this scheming businesswoman rings up clients to tell them about her great plans for the mysterious Simpson project before she's even been debriefed. Shady lady!