Ford's SYNC in-car infotainment and connectivity system, developed jointly with Microsoft - and recently inducted into the Computer History Museum - is now in Australia.
Introduced into the brand's American line-up in 2007, the latest version of SYNC makes its local debut in the Focus, bringing recognition for up to 150 voice commands to all models in the line-up.
Among the system's features are iPod and Bluetooth connectivity (the latter including phone calls and music), with voice controls available for activating and navigating almost all music and phone functions.
Among the phone connectivity functions is the ability to recognise and play dedicated ringtones directly from the handset for certain contacts, while the music functions include a 'play similar' command for on-the-fly playlist creation.
It is also possible to listen to text messages read out loud from your phone.
Ford also highlights the system's ability to recognise variations in the Australian accent and vocabulary, thanks to a partnership with specialist outfit Nuance Communications.
“Australian English pronunciation is determined less by region than by social, cultural and educational influences," Ford SYNC supervisor Mark Porter said.
“It is sometimes claimed that there are variations in accent and pronunciation among people of different states and territories."
“Most linguists consider there to be three main varieties of Australian English: (a) Broad Australian English, (b) General Australian English and (c) Cultivated Australian English. They are part of a continuum, reflecting variations in accent.”
SYNC is available in the Focus range now as standard equipment on all models as a no-cost option. Other updates to the Focus range available from this month can be found here.
A full 'how-to' guide is also available at www.ford.com.au/sync (opens in new window).
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