I like toys, and this one surprised me. I got a Ford Escape Hybrid, which is the first Ford product I’ve ever had to drive that I didn’t loathe. I wouldn’t buy one, mind you, but it’s the first Ford I’ve driven that didn’t feel like a Ford, and had an interior that was even decent.
the part I do want is the stereo. specifically Microsoft’s Sync product. I plugged my iPod Touch into the USB port, which is hooked up to the stereo. Sync detected the iPod, indexed all the content (about 20GB worth), and "prepared the voice commands" (whatever that means; most likely indexing the metadata it indexed for vr) in about three minutes. that was it for setup, no displays required, and the voice prompts were more than enough to take me through the process.
the voice recognition was pretty much flawless, and the only time it didn’t interpret my voice command properly was when I stuttered or paused because I couldn’t remember the name of the track. it works whether you’re standing still (like here; safety first, kids!), or driving 85 on the 101 (I tested both). if I spoke the name of the artist, track, genre, whatever properly, it got it right every time.
you can use the metadata of the tracks to play by genre, artist, album, or track, as well as play similar music (not sure if it uses genius info or not, but it was cool). there’s also drill down capabilities and query refining, all done by voice command. there are also abbreviated prompts (double-tap the voice command button) so you don’t have to wait for it to finish talking before giving it a command.
it’s some pretty sweet tech. simple. useful. want.
p.s. – apologies for cricking your neck with the portrait video. I’ll get it right the next time.