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Service is shaping up nicely, though it will require a USB broadband card

Ford's new SYNC is shaping up quite nicely.  With interfaces to mobile apps (allowing realtime stock quotes, social network updates, and more) and many other to-be-announced features, the service should greatly improve over the already impressive current edition

The latest feature to be official announced by the Detroit automaker is the addition of in-car Wi-Fi.  By plugging a mobile broadband card, such as those offered by Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint in the U.S. into the USB slot of a Ford vehicle with SYNC, a secure Standard WiFi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) wireless network will be produced.

This feature is sure to excite many in the business community (and more than a few reporters), who can use the service to get work done while carpooling to events.  Ford cites recent studies as indicating that one in three Americans would like to use in-car Wi-Fi to check on email or other services when on the go.

Ford describes the security protocols attached to the new feature, writing:

Using the SYNC WiFi system, a signal will be broadcast throughout the vehicle. Default security is set to WiFi Protected Access 2 (WPA2), requiring users to enter a randomly chosen password to connect to the Internet. When SYNC sees a new WiFi device for the first time, the driver must specifically allow that device to connect, preventing unauthorized users from “piggybacking” on the SYNC provided signal.

DailyTech was on hand at presentations of Ford's upcoming vehicles and services on Friday, at which the Wi-Fi features were first unveiled to the press.  At one of the presentations Derek Kuzak, Ford's global vice president of product development, described Ford's mindset on the new SYNC platform, stating, "Today we are thinking and behaving like a consumer electronics company.  People line up at midnight for the latest iPhone, or Blackberry.  We want to get that [level of excitement].  That's where SYNC comes in."

As more SYNC features are revealed its clear how seriously Ford took that mindset during the design process.  Along with EcoBoost, the new SYNC should be a key selling point for Ford going forward, as it looks to continue to swipe marketshare from GM, Chrysler, and the foreign automakers.





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