The new version of Sync that launches with the system offers a "flattened syntax" that Ford says is more conversational, with 10,000 first-level commands now possible. Ford has also made substantial improvements to the voice engine, and it's now able to recognize more voices and commands. Also newly added to phone functions are contact photos, birthday notifications, ambient lighting controls, and an improved text-message reader. We would also assume that the next-gen text message reader would be compatible with more than the handful of mostly Motorola handsets that it's currently compatible with.
Wi-fi, RSS, browsing even
The new MyFord system will include the WiFi connectivity Ford recently announced, allowing USB modems to be connected via a center-console port, effectively turning the vehicle into a hotspot. An RSS feed aggregator is another feature in the works, as is a vehicle-based browser, expected as soon as this summer.
Behind the system, officially announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today, is the next-generation version of Ford's Sync connectivity solution, built on Microsoft's Windows Embedded Auto software platform, with an ARM Cortex AB processor, 3D graphics controller, 512 MB of RAM and 2 GB of flash memory.
MyFord will launch first on the 2011 Ford Edge, then be offered worldwide on the 2012 Ford Focus. MyLincoln Touch will be offered later this year on the 2011 Lincoln MKX. Later, it will also be joined by MyMercury-branded versions. Ford says that by 2015, 80 percent of its North American models will have the technology.