One of the more unusual companies to present at CES this week is Ford, but it certainly showed tech know-how to match up to the more dedicated electronics firms out there...
Ford has announced 'MyFord Touch', a new driver interface which finally makes cars' controls look as cool as the ones you see in the movies. Primarily built around either one or a pair of large capacitive touchscreens, MyFord Touch presents a finger friendly and visually appealing way of displaying not just the usual GPS, parking guides and media playback information, but also a full array of personal settings (seat position, climate control, preferred UI layout, etc) that can download over USB and synchronised from one car to another.
As for passengers, the homescreen can be split (bottom left image), so that each side of the car has its own individual settings and preferences. Meanwhile a 4.2in LCD will be centrally mounted beside the speedometer offering a smaller version of the main display so drivers don't have to look too far away from the road (the far right pair of images). This safety measure is backed up by customisable steering wheel controls which allow drivers to safely operate MyFord when on the move.
On the downside, to take advantage of all this you will need to buy Ford cars, but that's hardly Ford's fault since the car industry is bafflingly slow at adopting cross-manufacturer standards. Furthermore, Ford says it will only roll out MyFord Touch on a few select models during 2010 (the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX) with a wider adoption only coming in 2012 with the Ford Focus with 80 per cent deployment by 2015.
That said, we may well have seen the future of in car technology and it wasn't invented by Ferrari, Aston Martin, Mercedes or BMW - it is by Ford!