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CAR MAKERS CES


At CES, There’s Definitely an App for That


By Ryan Gray T


he name of the game at CES in January was connec- tivity, that is to social networking sites and beyond, all at the touch of a steering wheel or via voice com- mand.


Four major automakers attended the weeklong bonanza at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and all four showcased their own approaches to enhancing the driver’s experience. With sites like Facebook now firmly entrenched in today’s culture, and with an alarming rise in the number of distractions to mo- torists with cell phones and the like, Ford continued to push its Sync Services and App Link that features a Siri-inspired female voice that connects you with on-demand traffic, news, music and, of course, your “Wall.” Powered by Microsoft, this voice


44 Mobile Electronics February | March 2012


command for smartphones, which interestingly started with Apple’s iPhone a year ago but has since expanded to include the Android, is an option on all 2013 models coming out later this year. The voice recognition software is built into the steering wheel and is button activated. Once engaged, it uses a DOT matrix in- terface so motorists can keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road while still receiving the latest creature com- forts, such as accessing Pandora and syncing destinations from phone to the vehicle’s GPS. You know, the must-haves in life. Motorists will be able to search verbally for their favorite


bands and can even find out when and where they are gigging locally. Now we’re talking.


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