REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 12, 2010 — Recently, the Internet was abuzz about a post on the Mashable technology blog titled “11 Astounding Sci-Fi Predictions That Came True.” The author claims that over the past 150 years, science-fiction writers have accurately predicted breakthroughs such as RADAR, escalators, video chat, atomic weapons and the office cubicle. Missing from that list, however, is a science-fiction standard that is fast becoming a regular part of 21st century life: the ability to communicate instantly with anyone, anywhere in the world, simply by saying their name while inside one’s vehicle.
In-vehicle infotainment systems such as Ford SYNC and Fiat’s Blue&Me, powered by the Windows Embedded Automotive platform, enable drivers and passengers to easily pair hands-free mobile devices with those systems and use them in a variety of ways: to place calls, get birthday reminders, and find out how busy the roads are on the way to their destinations.
In-vehicle infotainment systems such as MyFord Touch are designed to make pairing and using hands-free mobile devices as easy as possible.
For some, this still sounds like science fiction — and they wonder if they’ll need Scotty from “Star Trek” to help them figure it out. SYNC Community Moderator Mike Dube says some car owners mistakenly assume that pairing and using phones with SYNC is a complicated process. It isn’t.
“I think when some people are going to connect a mobile phone to their in-car infotainment systems, they imagine that it’s going to require a high level of technical knowledge,” Dube says. “Obviously auto manufacturers don’t have any control over the phone side of the equation, but from our end we’ve made pairing and using mobile devices incredibly easy for vehicle owners.”
One simple yet effective way that Ford has made things easier is to design the interface for MyFord Touch — powered by SYNC — so that an Add a Phone button is displayed right on the home screen. And once you’ve paired your phone with SYNC, using it is seamless. For example, if you’re in the middle of a call as you enter your vehicle, there’s no need to hang up and call the person back. When you enter your vehicle, SYNC can instantly connect to your phone.
If you find you’re having trouble pairing and using your phone with SYNC, Dube recommends checking the Mobile Phone Tips section at Syncmyride.com. Some useful tips include making sure Bluetooth on your phone is enabled and in discovery mode; turning your phone’s automatic phonebook download to OFF; installing the latest version of SYNC software and firmware on your phone; and — perhaps most important of all — making sure your phone is turned on and the battery charged.
As Microsoft continues to develop the Windows Embedded Automotive software platform, pairing and using mobile phones with in-vehicle infotainment systems will become even easier. A science-fiction prediction? Keep an eye on the Windows Embedded News Center and see if comes true!