Third time's the charm: Ford announces SYNC3

Ford SYNC 3
SYNC3: next-gen hands-free...

Despite only this week talking up the inclusion of SYNC2 in the 2015 Focus at its Go Further 2020 event in Melbourne, Ford has today introduced SYNC3, the next generation of its in-car voice recognition technology.

SYNC is certainly a handy system, but not without its flaws. Until now, one of the most off-putting elements of Ford's Siri-esque hands-free smartphone control system has been the robotic nature of communication.

Multi-step processes are required to activate most functions, which can be frustrating, and the system is unforgiving if you make a mistake.

Fortunately, Ford promises SYNC3 will be more flexible, offering a comparatively conversational approach. For example, if in your desperation to escape one of America's most crime-ridden cities you wish to be brief, you can now say "Detroit Airport" rather than the official name "Detroit Metropolitan Airport."

Use your words...

Similarly, you can now describe an address as "Eleven Twenty-Five Main Street" instead of "One One Two Five Main Street." This will have less of an effect in Australia with our street numbers rarely reaching such astronomical heights, but it's an improvement nonetheless.

SYNC3 also offers compatibility with Siri's Eyes Free feature, giving you direct access to Apple's concierge via the steering wheel's voice command button.

While SYNC3 is primarily a hands-free system, Ford says it will come with an all-new touch screen featuring smartphone-like gestures including pinch-to-zoom and swipe. Just don't try using it while the vehicle is in motion or leave it to your passenger.

Ford hopes SYNC3 will offer better integration for your smartphone, but with 2015's Focus boasting its predecessor we may have to be patient for its arrival in Australia.