TMCnet Feature
October 21, 2011

Ford SYNC Announces Update

By Rachel Ramsey, TMCnet Editorial Assistant

An update to Ford SYNC’s infotainment platform extends SYNC’s capability of reading text messages out loud to first generation SYNC users.

The Bluetooth Message Access Profile (MAP), is a protocol designed for message streaming in automobiles, used to transmit SMS, MMS and e-mails between devices. The update broadens the amount of SYNC users who can now benefit from the hands-free program.

According to Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), MAP is still a fairly new concept. Voice recognition makes it easy to make calls hands-free, find and play music, get directions and get them turn-by-turn.

Ford is hoping the update will eventually become widely adopted by mobile device manufacturers, and is giving handset manufacturers more incentive to get on board with the protocol by retrofitting some first-generation SYNC systems with MAP.

“Texting is becoming a ubiquitous part of our day, so it stands to reason the remote message access profile is an essential addition for handsets, automobiles, headsets and aftermarket car kits,” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director Bluetooth SIG.

MAP is already installed in Ford’s second-generation infotainment platforms, MyFord and MyLincoln Touch. MyFord and MyLincoln Touch are in-car communications and entertainment systems developed by Ford and Microsoft (News - Alert) that enable drivers to seamlessly integrate nearly all mobile phones and digital media players into their cars.

Microsoft has yet to add MAP to Windows Phone 7, but MAP is supported by the BlackBerry Style (9670), BlackBerry Curve (9300), Motorola (News - Alert) Atrix, Motorola Droid Bionic, Motorola Photon, HTC EVO 3D and HTC Sensation 4G.

With the newly updated platform, SYNC could provide a greater range of messaging capability over Bluetooth, such as emails.

The update is available for 2011 and early release 2012 Ford and Lincoln vehicles equipped with SYNC.

In related news, two Volt Information Sciences companies, VoltDelta and LSSiDATA (News - Alert), have teamed with MyAssist to provide Operator Assist and data services to the Ford Motor Company for its Ford SYNC in-vehicle information system. 

Rachel Ramsey is a TMCnet editorial assistant, contributing news items and feature articles on a variety of communications and technology topics. Rachel has previously worked in PR and communications at The Wriglesworth Consultancy, an award-winning London PR firm. She has also contributed to the creative services department at CBS 3 and The CW Philly in Philadelphia. To read more of Rachel's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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