CNET's Brian Cooley shows you Kia's new cabin tech interface from Microsoft.
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The Kia UVO Cabin Tech Interface System
Now you know about Ford SYNC. Here is Microsoft's next venture with the car maker. This is called UVO. Again, powered by Microsoft the way SYNC is on Ford but a very different system. Let's check it out. Four point three inch LCD, which is a relatively low cost interface, and this is not predicated on having a navigation option. It's a baseline interface, and notice how nicely rendered it is. Let's check out some of the functions and how it runs. If you go to AM, FM obviously I've got very quick response, good ability to get down to a nice long list of presets. Here's our Sirius Satellite Radio. I want to list out the channels. Again, go to interface for that. Categories are easy to get to it’s more than I can say for a lot of satellite radios. You'll also have a multi-disk in-dash changer, a USB drive support, Bluetooth A2DP streaming as well as traditional hands free. There's a jukebox here to move music from your USB drive onto it, but it's not a hard drive based thing. Its flash based, which is kind of a new trend.
Now there's also going to be a haptic wheel on the steering wheel. So a knob controller like this one here but bigger that has haptic feedback that will change with the given selections of like seven or eight different profiles of how it feels in your hand. You know, when it gets virtual detents or if it gets kind of stiff to show that you're working your way through something a different way. Again, all about keeping your eyes on the road and letting your hand read the screen if you will. Where does it get its data for online services? From your parent's smartphones. So, again, the Bluetooth link also handles that. Tethering for data and that can give you things like live traffic and weather, stock quotes, which gets us to another feature. There will be app support here. Like with Ford's new platform that is also Microsoft based, you'll be able to load up apps by a USB drive and have those run here from your smartphone using this as the interface.
The last intriguing thing here is they're talking about live mobile digital TV in the rear head rest, for example. This is part of a revolution going on that we're seeing top of 2010 where mobile DTV is breaking out in all kinds of products, a standalone portable TVs, smartphones, and, of course, now in cars. That's the UVO system, Microsoft's next partnership, in this case with Kia.