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Wed 22 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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Technology in Sync

Automotive giant Ford and technology titan Microsoft have launched the latest in-car communications and entertainment system, called Sync, with a promise to work together on future technology projects.

Automotive giant Ford and technology titan Microsoft have launched the latest in-car communications and entertainment system, called Sync, with a promise to work together on future technology projects. Ford Middle East MD Waldo Galan explains the voice activated system creates a new method for drivers to interact with their vehicles.

Microsoft Gulf developer and platform group director Vimal Sethi says the system can be ‘paired' with up to 12 devices simultaneously. "For us it is really exciting to see how software is bridging the gap between the automotive industry and the consumer electronics industry," he says.

"[With Sync] you can really start to use all those investments you have made into mobile phones and MP3 players seamlessly.

"If you imagine a family with multiple phones and multiple MP3 players it is very easy to have all of them operate in the car."

Galan is convinced the technology will eventually be adopted by to other manufacturers, but he remains optimistic Ford will retain its position ahead of the game.

"It is only logical that it would [be picked up by other car companies]," he says.

"However there is some proprietary programming that we have done with Microsoft that makes our product unique and it will be exclusive probably for at least 2009. Eventually other vehicle manufacturers will use the platform to devise their own systems."

While other companies play catch up, Galan sees a raft of opportunities for expanding the current capabilities of the system, from interactive navigation systems to prompts from the car to suggest better driving techniques to drivers.

"This system is upgradeable, so as we come up with new innovations it can be upgraded in the products that we already have in the market," he adds. "We are way ahead of the curve - there is no other manufacturer that has this system and they won't have it for quite some time."

Sync is available on Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.

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