The 2010 Consumer Electronics Show is underway, and Ford CEO and President Alan Mulally kicked it off with a lengthy keynote. A very lengthy keynote. For an hour-an-a-half, we were peppered with details about Ford's successes, its inspirations, and, of course, its plans for the future. We've already learned quite a bit about what's coming next, and even had a chance to try it, but it's good to have Mulally and his cohorts put it all into perspective for us. We sat through the entire presentation and have summarized the important bits after the break so that you don't have to. Click on through and see what's up at the Blue Oval.
  • Sync successes - This quote more or less sums things up in this department: "Last year I said that we would have one million Sync equipped cars by the start of 2010. I am proud to announce that we hit that goal in May of 2009." Mulally indicated that 32 percent of Ford buyers indicate that Sync was a major factor in their decision, and that 81% are satisfied.
  • Design guidelines - There were five main guiding forces behind the design of the MyFord Touch dash logically relevant information, logically organized information, color, use LCD screens, and the use of five-way controllers.
  • Minimizing distractions - This was a recurring theme in Mulally's talk, a major motivator for Ford. With the MyFord system nearly every feature of the car can be controlled quickly without taking your hands off the wheel, many by voice. You can even launch applications on your mobile phone, which leads us into our next point...
  • Applications - The biggest addition to Sync itself is the new App Ecosystem, enabling smartphone applications to interact with the car itself, playing tunes through the stereo, taking calls, reading tweets and texts, and who knows what else. First apps are Pandora, Stitcher, and Open Peak for Twitter, but surely many more will come, on many, many platforms.
  • Brand Signature Technologies - Last but certainly not least is the idea of Ford using Sync and MyFord to define the brand. This means the entire brand, so it's not technology that they'll be using only in their premium vehicles. This means luxury and economy cars will get the tech, so techie gearheads won't necessarily have to pony up for a bigger/flashier car just to get the greatest technologies.
On one hand it was something of a disappointing keynote, as there wasn't any news dropped that we weren't really expecting, but ultimately it was a promising show of what's to come and while we don't know exactly when it's coming, the quote that this tech will be available in "your next new Ford" is certainly quite encouraging.