Car companies always boast about how many technological gizmos they pack into each new model, but the sad truth is that many buyers -- and we're talking a lot here -- barely have a clue what they'd use them for let alone how to go about it. This hasn't stopped companies like Nuance Communications Inc. from developing a raft of new and innovative gadgets for our convenience. The speech-recognition market leader most recently supplied its software for use in Ford-Microsoft's new SYNC and that's just the beginning of what it has to offer.

One gadget it has in the pipeline will let drivers pick a song from an MP3 database by simply calling out the artist or title. Another feature of the system will be the ability to detect different voices so that different people will be able to program their own unique settings and control multiple devices through the one system.

Sadly, voice recognition on the PC still leaves something to be desired, so we don't expect in-car recognition to be perfect any time soon. While some might view automotive gadgets as getting to the point where they become more of a hazard than convenience, workable systems that keep more hands on the wheel and eyes on the road are to be commended.

[Source: Wards Auto]