I’m always wary of technology that takes too much control of my life. I like to believe that I still have some say over how I live my days, and like many men my age, I’m uncomfortable with the idea of transmitting too much information about myself to the rest of the world. With that said, SYNC® by Microsoft, a “car-connectivity system” designed by Ford and Microsoft, has some serious benefits.
What’s so cool and different about that, right? You can already make hands-free calls from a Bluetooth-enabled device, so why should you bother with SYNC® by Microsoft? The answer is hat SYNC® takes hands-free communication to a whole new level.
If you’re wondering how much battery your cell phone has left, for example, you don’t have to take your eyes off the road long enough to squint at the tiny phone display. Instead, a battery strength indicator appears on your radio display screen.
You can also hear your text messages rather than reading them in the car. Then, when you’re ready to reply, you can either type out a message or send a generic response using your voice. And when you’re having a good-old-fashioned conversation, your phone links to your car’s radio so you can hear the other person through your speakers. With SYNC® by Microsoft, you’ve got the full radio volume spectrum rather than just that provided by your phone.
Media Player Connectivity
Speaking of volume, SYNC® by Microsoft also allows you to connect your media player to the system. This means you don’t have to listen to music through earbuds that might distract you from the road; instead, transfer the music from your media player to the speakers in your car.
It will also charge your media player and allow you to select the music you want to hear with voice commands. You can select the genre of music, the playlist you prepared last night, or even specific artists and songs without having to take your hands off the wheel.
Traffic and Directions
If you don’t have a GPS receiver or if you want all your gadgets to be centralized in one location, you can use SYNC® by Microsoft to obtain directions from one place to another or to hear traffic reports along your route. And if you’re planning a road trip, just send your Google Maps information directly from your home computer to the SYNC® system.
You can initiate Vehicle Diagnostic reports through SYNC®, and the system will send you a text message if there is an urgent problem that requires your attention. You can also upgrade SYNC® by Microsoft to include 911 Assist, which calls the 911 operator if you are in an accident that necessitates the deployment of your airbags.
All in all, there are a lot of benefits to SYNC® by Microsoft, and the package comes standard on many of the high-end Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln models. If you purchase a car that offers SYNC® as an option, the basic package costs $395.