Motor vehicle manufacturer Ford has just shown off the latest version of its SYNC in-car connectivity platform and, for the first time since it was launched seven years ago, Microsoft is no longer providing the smarts that run everything.
The new SYNC 3 is managed by the same OS that powers BlackBerry 10 smartphones called QNX. It was bought by BlackBerry in 2010 and is used in a variety of applications including as the operating system for nuclear power plants in Canada.
The new version of SYNC is the first to feature capacitive touchscreens, like those you would find in your smartphone or tablet, which means that the response time for inputs is almost immediate as well as adding features like pinch-to-zoom on maps. The new SYNC brings further integration with iOS allowing you to activate the Siri digital assistant with a push of a button on your steering wheel.
All new Fords fitted with SYNC 3 will have WiFi receivers that will allow the vehicle to connect to home networks to pull down system updates as well as the update packages for apps compatible with Ford’s AppLink. AppLink allows developers to build a set of voice controls for their applications which would allow drivers to control the app without having to pick up their smartphones using the built-in voice commands in the Ford SYNC system.
When it comes to cars being able to interact with smartphones, Ford’s SYNC system is right up there with the best of them but in the past users have complained that their smartphones and tablets were more responsive and feature-filled than their cars.
It was creating the potential problem where people would be more inclined to do something on their phones than they would using the in-car system which would defeat the purpose of systems like SYNC which try to eliminate the need for driver to look at their phones while driving.
[Source – Fast Company, Image – Ford YouTube]