- Jun 11, 2012
Apple adding a new button to your car, will activate Siri
Apple's 2012 Worldwide Developer's Conference keynote is winding down as you read this, and while many car enthusiasts could care less about the next version of iOS or the MacBook Pro's new Retina Display, they will probably care about one piece of news just delivered by Apple's VP of iOS Software, Scott Forstall: Apple is going to add a new button to your car.
Called Eyes Free, it's basically just a steering wheel-mounted button that will activate Siri on the iPhone or iPad (yes, they announced Siri is coming to the new iPad, too) you have with you in the car. Likely paired over Bluetooth, Eyes Free will let you talk to Siri through the car, giving you access to a wealth of information without using both your eyes and hands (except for that initial button press). And since this is Apple, automakers are apparently lining up to add Siri buttons to their steering wheels. Apple reports that BMW, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda are all signed up to start offering Eyes Free within the next 12 months.
We find it curious that GM has chosen to participate, considering that what Siri offers is not at all unlike what the automaker's subscription-based OnStar service provides. Conspicuously missing from the list of on-board automakers is Ford, whose Sync infotainment systems are all based on Microsoft-branded technology.