Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Voice-activated MP3 players: Sync/Ford"

from - By Steve Miller

Ford Touts Sync Technology in New Spots

DETROIT -- Ford's Microsoft-powered infotainment system, Sync, has a new broadcast campaign launching today, playing on musical tastes and the hipness associated with them.

In the spot, two guys are driving down the road in a Focus. After the driver proudly shows off Sync by commanding the system to play Smashing Pumpkins, the passenger uses Sync's voice recognition system to reveal a couple of the driver's embarrassing musical guilty pleasures.

"Play Tiffany," and "play Michael Bolton" the passenger commands, eliciting the bubblegum tunes.

His pal the driver quickly takes off the offending pop music and demands some Korn be played. The spot is via JWT, Detroit.

Sync is a joint venture between the two mega-corporations that only Ford will be able to use until next year, when other automakers could adapt it.

The system uses voice activation that allows drivers—and, as shown in the new spot, passengers—to speak to the car and to synchronize MP3 players and cell phones. Cars with the program have USB ports and Bluetooth capabilities.

The spot that breaks this week is one of several that will tout the joint venture. Another ad, "objects," looks at people doing various tasks and attempting to launch them with verbal commands, like close blinds, turn on a treadmill and open a door, all with no success.

"You talk. Sync listens," is the tag used on several of the spots.

The technology package, a $395 option, will be offered in a total of 12 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles this year.

By 2009, Ford hopes to make it available in almost all models.

Ford, which owns the Sync name, has exclusive rights to the technology through November 2008.

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