Pioneer Adds More Voice-Command Models

By Amy Gilroy On Apr 21 2008 - 6:00am

Pioneer is expanding voice control beyond the single on-the-dash system announced at International CES, to a line of navigation products that use "conversational" commands to access music and control a cellular phone.

At its Road Show here, Pioneer took the wraps off a trio of in-dash navigation units that let users state such commands as "Let's hear artist Usher" or "I want to listen to artist Chris Brown" to access music from an iPod. Voice command can also control cellphone call functions, but it does not control navigation, CD/DVD functions or music on a cellphone.

The double-DIN line includes a navigation/CD receiver, model AVIC-F700BT; a navigation/DVD receiver, model AVIC-F900BT, and a Premier navigation/DVD version, the AVIC-F90BT.

These join the on-the-dash AVIC-F500BT announced in January. All use 5.8-inch WVGA touchscreens and preloaded maps in flash memory so that users can play a CD or other media while navigating. They can connect to iPods, cellphones, SD cards, flash drives, XM, Sirius and HD Radio and some offer MSN Direct traffic, weather and other updates.

Navigation features include text-to-speech pronunciation of street names, maps of the entire United States and Canada and 12 million points of interest. The AVIC-F900BT and –F90BT also provide three months of free MSN Direct traffic including gas price and movie time listings.

The line is expected to ship in June at suggested retails of $600 for the AVIC-F500BT, $850 for the AVIC-F700BT, $1,100 for the AVIC-F900BT and $1,200 for the Premier AVIC-F90BT.

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