What is surely an act of waving a red flag to a bull, Ford have laid down the gauntlet with their upcoming ‘SYNC-3’ connectivity system. Ford have announced, and I quote: “new voice-recognition technology that speaks and understands Australian accents.”
From a personal point of view, I find it patronising to be directed around my hometown by some anonymous, condescending American. And there’s nothing more annoying than a voice recognition system that doesn’t have the slightest clue of what you’re talking about, and makes you feel like your talking to Telstra’s automated call-centre system.
Ford’s current SYNC-2 technology is already slick and progressive, and the amount of tech packed into their range-topping Ranger and Everest 4X4s is quite impressive. So if it’s only getting better, that’s a good thing.
Ford tell us they have spent $2 billion in R&D over the last six years for Australian vehicles, and products like SYNC-3 are an example of what that money is going towards.
Much of the new voice recognition technology is based around being more ‘conversational’ and ‘intuitive’, so it can understand what you you’re getting at a bit easier.
“I need a coffee” is something that Sync-3 would understand, and find a nearby café for you.
But if it really speaks ‘Strayan, then it will also understand “Gunna grab a largie on the way home”, or “what time do the Bombers kick off this arvo?”, or ” I need some to pick up some pillies on the way to the breakwall before the tide comes out”. We can’t wait to test this out.
The interface is apparently much more easy to use as well, with pinch-to-zoom and swipe capabilities, just like your smartphone. They have shamelessly emulated a smartphone home screen as well, so people find it easy to use.
Will this technology be able to speak fair-dinkum ‘Strayan? Or will it be a dead-set dog’s breakfast? Stay tuned, as we line up for a roadtest.