LAS VEGAS -- UVO, the Kia Motors America answer to Ford Motor Co.'s popular Sync infotainment system, will debut this summer in the 2011 Sorento compact SUV.
The automaker released details on the technology here yesterday at the International Consumer Electronics Show.
Like Sync, UVO -- short for “your voice” -- is a voice-controlled system powered by Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Embedded Auto software. The system allows drivers and passengers to answer and place phone calls without using their hands and to access music players and other audio sources, such as Sirius satellite radio, using only their voices. UVO also can receive and respond to text messages.
Kia's system will have a 1-gigabyte hard drive that can store up to 250 songs and an in-dash monitor for scrolling through media and mobile-device content by voice and touch-screen commands. The screen doubles as a rearview camera when the vehicle goes into reverse.
Ford's exclusive contract to develop applications using the Microsoft software expired at the end of 2008. In May of that year, Microsoft announced that Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group would develop a voice-controlled infotainment system for North America.
Hyundai has not announced its plans.
Fiat also uses Microsoft technology to power its infotainment service, called Blue&Me.