MediaFile

CES: Ford’s Mulally digs hands-free, in-car Pink Floyd

Here’s Ford CEO Alan Mulally getting excited about the new MyFord Touch in-car tech system, launched today at CES.

First attempt cut short by lack of Internet access. He’s not the first CEO bedeviled by tech problems at the show, after a power cut delayed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote on Wednesday evening.

Second take shows successful launch of hands-free Pandora Internet radio. Pretty cool, despite choice of dinosaur-rock station.

Steve Ballmer’s “awesome” new Ford hybrid

Times are tough for car makers, so Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally is going the extra mile by delivering cars to customers himself.

Unfortunately you have to be CEO of a very large company to qualify. Here’s Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer taking possession of his new Ford Fusion Hybrid at the software company’s Seattle-area campus.

 
“This is awesome!” Ballmer declared, before climbing into the car for a quick seminar on how it works. He didn’t seem too interested in the fuel consumption figures, but said his wife insisted on a hybrid.

from Summit Notebook:

Yahoo cedes search game to Google, for now

(Updated with more quotes)

If you're losing the game, time to change the playing field. Yahoo is counting on exactly that.

Ari Balogh, Yahoo's chief technology officer and product development czar, would be among the first to admit that Google reigns supreme in the search space.

"Search the way we know it, with 10 blue links, Google has clearly won that game. Saying anything other than that is just not stating the fact," he told the Reuters Global Technology Summit.

CES: Ford turns hip with Eva

Ford CEO Alan Mulally unveiled new features of its voice-command activated in-car system Sync yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, highlighting its connectivity with a driver’s other devices, including cell phones and personal computers.

Mulally then showed off a futuristic dashboard featuring an electronic personal assistant, Eva (for Emotive Voice Activation). In a small video clip of how it could all work, the Eva avatar engaged the driver in conversation and performed tasks like scheduling appointments. It’s the next generation of Ford’s Human Machine Interface (HMI) strategy, Mulally said.

“Everyone is growing up with a connected device and they don’t want to be disconnected,” Mulally told Reuters in a brief interview after his CES keynote address. Ford’s hoping its Sync service, developed with Microsoft and launched 18 months ago, will appeal especially to younger car buyers. Earlier, he’d said his five kids are his “focus group,” often e-mailing him articles about new gadgets and trends from Wired.com and other sites.