—Ford went to the CTIA convention here
to announce the launch of a software developers kit (SDK)
that will enable app developers to modify BlackBerry and Android
smartphone apps so they can be controlled via voice
through Ford’s first- and second-generation Sync systems.
The apps would use Bluetooth to connect the phones to
Ford’s Sync system.
The development promises to expand the number of Synccontrolled
smartphone apps, which are currently limited to
Stitcher’s Internet news and podcast app, OpenBeak’s Twitter-
streaming app with text-to-voice conversion, and Pandora’s
Internet music service, which delivers cellular-streamed music
programming to a Sync-enable factory sound system via stereo
“More and more drivers will find a way to use their devices
and their apps while in the car,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group
VP for global product development, during a keynote speech
here. “They can do it unsafely, or they can do it through safer
voice-activated solutions such as Ford Sync.
Sync, launched in October 2007, delivers voice control over
a vehicle’s entertainment systems, Bluetooth-connected cellphones
for hands-free calling, and USB-connected MP3 players.
Second-generation Sync systems extend voice control to
additional functions, including climate-control functions, add
multiple other features, and power the automaker’s MyFord
Touch system of user controls.