By Ed Oswald | Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm
When Microsoft and Ford first debuted the Sync platform three years ago, it was quite rudimentary. About 100 commands were supported which only allowed the user to navigate the menu structure of the system. In other words, it was cool but almost hopelessly basic.
Not anymore. The US carmaker on Thursday released an update that increases the available commands to over 10,000. Ford’s intention here is to make the whole system easier to use. This would allow somebody who may not be familiar with voice recognition to learn to use the system much easier.
MyFordTouch as it is called moves away from Sync’s old structure based navigation, allowing the user to speak more commands directly. For example, instead of directing the system to the menu to call a phone number or play a music track, the user would only need to use words like “call” or “play” directly and the system would handle the rest.
The improved voice recognition technology is the result of a partnership with Nuance Communications, and would appear initially in the 2011 Ford Edge. The company did not specify any plans for rollout across the rest of its model lineup.
Ford has posted a video of how the technology works on YouTube. I must say I am pretty impressed — and it does raise the bar for other players in the space to offer a similarly easy-to-use experience. One also wonders now that we’re talking about this: whatever happened to that once-rumored partnership between Apple and Volkswagen?