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Tuesday
Apr282009

Sync - not for the impatient?

 Ford has a demo of sync on Youtube.  The interaction goes something like this:

Driver: Presses "Media" button on steering wheel

Sync: Bloing! Main menu  Beep!

Driver: User Device?  (in plaintive, questioning tone)

Sync: Blip! Bloing! USB... Please say a command Beep!

Driver: Play track Big Jazz (driver feeling more assertive this time)

Sync: Blip! Playing track Big Jazz

Sync: Plays music

I think Sync voice recognition is going to drive me crazy.  How much better would the interaction be if it went like this:

Driver: Presses "Media" button on steering wheel

Sync: Bloing!

Driver: Play track Big Jazz

Sync: Yes Dave...

Sync: Plays music

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Reader Comments (12)

It's pretty utilitarian, just like the nav UI. Not sure why they couldn't spiff the nav up. They might in the future, when there's more competition (Sync's going into Hyundai's lineup next year). Right now, Sync is basically best of class.

I haven't actually demo'd the system yet, so I don't know if it's awful once the novelty wears off. On a positive note, if you google "ford sync sucks" you don't find much.

April 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercue

I've only had mine since last Thursday, so I can't speak to the novelty wearing off issue yet, but so far I'm having a fine time with SYNC. We did have a bit of a disagreement the other day when I wanted to hear something from my iPod after completing a phone call and SYNC seemed to want me to make another phone call, but we got that worked out.

April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKarenD

Perhaps you should set it to the expert mode, which acts exactly as you describe. If prompts are not necessary for you any longer, you may want to RYFM and activate "turse mode."

April 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlilengineeringboy

So, I read this manual I found on the web and indeed it does mention an advanced voice recognition interaction mode with fewer prompts.

I'll have to wait until I get my FFH to see if advanced mode really is "exactly as I describe". ;-)

April 29, 2009 | Registered CommenterBill Wood

As soon as I saw your comment, it scared me. I wouldn't want to get in and have it say "Good morning, Dave."!! LOL. "I don't think you want to listen to that today, Dave. What are you doing, Dave? I don't like this route we're taking, DAVE."

April 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNevyn, CleanMPG

You might want to keep it in novice mode until you learn the prompts and commands, then you can switch it over once you're confident.

Studies have found that for most tasks with a list (picking a song or artist from an iPod, picking a name from a phone-book) are faster with SYNC in novice mode than using the handheld device itself. And you get to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, or however the song goes.

If you are getting the navigation system, there are even more options to optimize your user experience, but again, you are stuck reading the manual to find out how to adjust some of it. The first level is pretty easy - sync-ing a phone and address book, connecting an iPod and playing songs, but changing the user experience I've found takes some digging.

April 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlilengineeringboy

The more I learn about SYNC the more I love it.

I just can't believe that it's from microsoft....

I have nightmares that one day I'll get in my car and see a screen on the nav saying "Service Pack 1 cannot be installed on your cars sync, please reboot system before starting car..."

May 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMilan

BTW - there are 4 levels of interaction with SYNC.

Standard Interaction Mode with Confirmation Prompts on:

This selection provides the most feedback and GUIDANCE from the system. You will be prompted to say a command. The system will repeat your command and ask, “Is that correct?”

Standard mode with prompts off:

This selection offers the second highest level of feedback with the system. You will be prompted to say a command. If the system is not certain of your command, the system will repeat your command and ask, “Is that correct?”

Advance mode with prompts on:

You will be prompted by two tones. If the system is not certain of your command, the system may repeat your command and ask, “Is that correct?”.

Advance mode with prompts off:

This selection provides the least interaction with the system. You will be prompted by two tones. You will rarely be asked to confirm your command.

May 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMilan

I got this advice from aggoodin at fordfusionforum.com:

Double press the voice button and skip all the prompts.

Press voice twice

Say: USB

Press Voice twice

Say: Play artist Wilson Phillips

BAM! Just like that you are ready to hang yourself, in half the time.

That double press thing speeds it up immensely.

May 5, 2009 | Registered CommenterBill Wood

Now that I've got my FFH I've discovered that pressing "voice" twice does not work in my car.

June 14, 2009 | Registered CommenterBill Wood

I've tested pressing "voice" twice again and got it to work. You need to wait about 1/2 second after the first press before pressing again. Then you go right to listening mode in 1/2 the time. So instead of:

Bloing! ... Beep!

You just get:

Beep!

June 16, 2009 | Registered CommenterBill Wood

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