Ford and Bsquare Add New Touch Screen UI to Develop
Most Advanced Auto Entertainment Communications System Ever
Las Vegas, NV and Bellevue, Wash. – Jan. 7, 2010 – Start it up, adjust the volume, turn up the heat, check the traffic and call ahead. That’s just one of the more than 15,000 possible combinations Bsquare Corporation (Nasdaq: BSQR), had to plan for and test to develop the newest version of the Ford SYNC, the most advanced in-vehicle infotainment system ever implemented.
Ford SYNC offers an unprecedented number of features – such as navigation, hands-free calling, phone book, text to voice messaging and CD, DVD, radio and media player control – through a single touch screen or by voice command. Using Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Auto software platform, Bsquare worked closely with Ford and integrated the technologies of other Ford partners to develop the system that makes all of these features function as a single integrated solution. The work included managing hardware and software integration.
“From the amount of information SYNC controls to how it can receive software updates, this truly is a ground-breaking product that will change the auto industry,” says Carey Butler, Bsquare’s vice president of professional engineering services. “Ford SYNC is the ultimate converged device. It is far and away the most advanced in-vehicle infotainment system to be implemented and has made Ford cars best in class for technology. The first version of SYNC was impressive, but this blows the doors off.”
Bsquare estimates that average drivers perform two- to three-thousand possible combinations of actions in every trip—from opening the door to making a left-hand turn. Bsquare’s integration of Ford SYNC had to plan for those thousands of possible actions, integrate many technologies and test all the functionalities of SYNC across hundreds of phones, portable media players and other devices to ensure a seamless experience for consumers. Additionally, Ford required a new level of integration among all the possible applications through a very easy-to-use touch screen or voice control.
“A key challenge facing automakers is how to bring these innovative solutions to their customers quickly and affordably, while maintaining a competitive edge,” said Ilya Bukshteyn, senior marketing director for Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Business division. “Ford SYNC transforms the user experience for both driver and passenger and Bsquare has shown expertise and innovation on the Windows Embedded Auto platform. The development of a state-of-the-art, in-vehicle communications and entertainment system for a mobile and rugged environment with an outstanding user experience is a great engineering feat.”
From Part to Art: Bsquare Combines New Technologies for Breakthrough Developments
Bsquare Integrated several new technologies for the project, including:
Custom User Interface: Bsquare implemented the entire user interface designed by Ford, including integration of Adobe Flash, to provide state of the art graphic and multimedia capabilities. It also integrated several other technologies including speech recognition, navigation, media, climate controls and phone for a seamless user experience.
Single Point of Navigation (Voice and Touch): Bsquare combined applications from other Ford partners into its customized user interface to provide a single point of control, whether driven by speech commands or a touch screen.
Bsquare is an industry leader with a proven track record in providing engineering services and production-ready software products for the smart device market. Bsquare is involved with the automotive industry at all levels including automotive manufacturers and after-market infotainment OEMs. With an automotive consulting practice that encompasses deep technical knowledge of Windows Embedded Auto platform and the technologies needed to integrate speech recognition, hands free phone support, entertainment and navigation, Bsquare enables OEMs to select, adopt, develop and ship best in class products. Since 1994, Bsquare has provided device manufacturers with software solutions for personal navigation devices, point-of-sale terminals, handheld data terminals, smart phones and many other device categories allowing them to get to market more quickly and cost effectively.
For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
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