By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The first kit to allow aftermarket radios to work with the popular Ford Sync will soon ship from Metra Electronics.
In addition, Ford itself announced it will offer a dealer kit to allow its Sync radio, with "intelligent voice activation" to work with Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles that shipped without it.
Metra Electronics will deliver in 30 days a kit that lets people who own a vehicle with the Ford Sync, swap the radio but retain some of the voice control.
"The Sync really operates independently of the radio," said Metra VP new product development, Bill Lauer. The kit allows voice control over music and hands-free calling on a cellphone and will provide voice control over switching modes. It does not retain voice control for an iPod although the user will still be able to control audio via his steering-wheel controls, Lauer said. The kit will also include a separate display to show text and it will be priced comparably to other aftermarket adapters, Metra said.
For car dealers, Ford launched a Sync kit for the 2008 Lincoln Navigator; kits for other late-model Fords will follow, said a spokesman.
In addition, the company said it has now sold 105,000 vehicles with Sync since last October, and it remains on track to sell 1 million Sync vehicles by spring 2009. Although the company plans to offer Sync on most of its Ford, Lincoln, Mercury vehicles, Sync originally launched on only 12 models.
The price of the Sync dealer kit was not available at press time..
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.