Mention consumer electronics and cars, and your average CES novice will imagine remote-controlled toys. But Ford Motor had the real deal on display Monday night.
The automaker has signed up some tech heavyweights to help with "Sync," its in-car satellite communications system, and they showed off the goods at the Wynn Las Vegas.
With help from Microsoft , Sirius and others, Ford's car of the very near future is something like a GPS, digital music player, cell phone and voice recognition system on wheels. Ford's is pulling out all the stops in promoting its "Sync" navigation system, even getting Bill Gates to give it a quick nod during his CES keynote address Sunday.
The initial version of Sync will be available on almost all Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars by the end of 2008. The system, designed by Microsoft, accepts voice commands to, for example, "Play Led Zeppelin."
Drivers can upload music from a variety of players—including Apple's iPod— to their car, and then drill down to their favorite album and favorite song. Ford even teamed with album cover database company Gracenote to make Sync display the album cover art for what they're listening to.