Designated Distraction? SYNC begins offering Fantasy Baseball updates

The Ford SYNC hands-free tech has proven to be a well-liked commodity over the past several years, in part because the automaker continues to update the feature-packed system. Now the automaker is catering to the estimated seven million fantasy baseball fans with on-demand weekly statistic updates right from the comfort of the driver's seat of a SYNC-equipped Ford or Lincoln.

To access hitting and pitching stats, the driver needs only say "Sports," then "Baseball," then "Fantasy Update" from Services. The system will then read off the leaders in batting average, home runs, RBIs, wins, strikeouts, saves and other relevant categories. Of course, the SYNC system will need a paired Bluetooth-enabled phone with a SYNC Services account, which is free for the first three years of vehicle ownership.

Ford is hoping fantasy baseball owners will use this new feature to get up to speed on the latest fantasy baseball news, but we're a bit torn on this one. As fantasy baseball team owners, we're always up for any news and analysis that will help us win. Typically, though, we want that information in front of us when we set our lineups, and we can't do that sort of thing while driving.

Then again, we're sure many fantasy baseball fans will take whatever info they can get when they can get it. We'll just have to see how the new feature works in person. Hit the jump to read over the Ford press release.
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SYNC Steps Up to the Plate with Fantasy Baseball Updates Available Hands-Free from Ford

Ford SYNC®, the company's award-winning hands-free in-vehicle connectivity technology, offers access to an on-demand weekly fantasy baseball update through available Traffic, Directions and Information Services

Drivers can get a list of weekly hitting and pitching leaders in both the American League and National League using simple voice commands

SYNC Services is an off-board network of voice-requested features, connected via a customer's cellphone, including directions, traffic, business search, weather, news, sports scores, stock quotes, horoscopes and movie listings – all free for the first three years of vehicle ownership

DEARBORN, Mich., June 16, 2011 – With baseball season in full swing, die-hard fantasy team fans who are also Ford owners can get weekly player updates in their vehicle on-demand and hands-free through Ford SYNC® with Traffic, Directions and Information Services.

Using a properly paired Bluetooth®-enabled phone with an active SYNC Services account, Ford owners can receive weekly player updates to find out who's hot and who's not. Once connected to Services, the driver simply says "Sports," then "Baseball" then "Fantasy Update." The weekly leaders in both the American League and National League are then read out aloud, along with hitting statistics including batting average, home runs, RBIs, stolen bases and runs scored. Pitching statistics include records, saves and strikeouts.

"It's been estimated that nearly 7 million people play fantasy baseball, and all of them scramble to get any kind of information about the very best players they should be putting in their lineups," said David Gersabeck, SYNC Services product manager. "This is all about giving our customers what they want. The Fantasy Update feature on SYNC gives our customers fantasy baseball updates quickly and concisely using easy voice commands."

No longer do fantasy baseball players need to pore through pages of statistics and articles to find out who they should be adding – and dropping – from their fantasy team. SYNC Services users simply press the voice button and say the command "Services" to access a wide range of cloud-based on-demand voice-activated features and information, including turn-by-turn navigation, business search, traffic, news coverage, sports reports, weather forecasts and even horoscopes and stock prices. The most recent additions to the Services network include movie listings and travel information, offering a direct connection to 150 airlines, 50 hotel chains and 11 of the largest rental car companies in the U.S.

SYNC Services also offers portability because the service is mated with the user's Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone, not the vehicle, and therefore can be used in select 2010 model or newer Ford and Lincoln SYNC-equipped vehicles.

Vehicle owners even can dial up SYNC Services when on the move outside the vehicle, accessing the voice-command portal, which provides free access to information that network service providers usually charge additional fees for.

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