SYNC with Ford EcoSport
The launch of the much awaited EcoSport is just around the corner and Ford is counting on it to make a big splash in the same pool that the Renault Duster and Mahindra XUV500 success stories are swimming in, so to speak. Ford has a lot riding on this SUV considering that the Fiesta did not do as well as was expected. To give the EcoSport an edge Ford is packing it to the brim with features.
One of these features is SYNC and while a voice activated infotainment system is nothing new, either for this segment or even the segment below, the Ford system aims to standout, being more user friendly and intelligent than the competition. We take a look at what SYNC is, and what it brings to the EcoSport ownership experience. Ford introduced SYNC, their trademarked voice activated system in 2007. It runs on the Windows Embedded Automotive operating system designed by Microsoft. As the name suggests it's a Windows based operating system but specifically designed for use in cars. It uses speech recognition technology from Nuance Communications for a fully voice command activated experience. Fiat (Blue&Me) and Kia (Kia UVO) also have similar systems that run on the same windows based platform. The EcoSport will receive the latest fifth generation of SYNC which will be an upgrade on the system seen in the Ford Fiesta.
Syncing your phone will now be a one step process and once done, just stepping into the car with the Bluetooth turned on, will insure that your phone seamlessly syncs back, even while on call. It will also read out text messages, make calls from the phone book and support individual ringtones for contacts. It's also possible to adjust the temperature and fan speed on the climate control system by simply calling out a temperature and fan speed figure. This ensures that your hands stay firmly on the wheel and your eyes on the road while you get comfortable.
The SYNC can also interface with certain 'approved' apps on BlackBerry, iPhone and Android based phones though which apps will be compatible in India is not yet certain. It also has the capability to generate a health report (stuff like warnings, check lights, fluid levels, etc) that can be viewed online or printed out for your service centre at the time of service. The system is also capable of delivering turn by turn navigation and traffic information along with the weather report, but whether these features will make it to India, is still uncertain. What is certain, though, is that the system will be delightful to use. We did find the system in the Ford Fiesta to be easy to use with the system easily understanding commands without us having to polish up our fake American accents, after all. And we believe the system in the EcoSport will improve on what's already one of the better voice activated systems on the market.
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