When Apple unveiled iOS 6 – their latest generation mobile operating system at the WWDC 2012, it showcased “Eyes Free” – a feature that would allow users to fire up Siri using dedicated buttons on the steering wheel of a car. This would allow users to ask Siri questions without taking their eyes off the road.
At that time, Apple had announced that it was working with car manufacturers such as BMW, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, Honda to bring Siri ‘Eyes Free’ integration in the next 12 months.
After almost 5 months, General Motors has finally announced that it will be bringing the Siri ‘Eyes Free’ integration in its vehicles starting early next year. Chevrolet Spark (1LT, 2LT) and Sonic LTZ and RS will be the first cars to get the feature.
Here’s how it will work:
Through the cars’ standard Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, customers with a compatible iPhone* running iOS 6 can direct Siri to perform a number of tasks while they safely keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. To further minimize distraction, Siri takes hands-free functionality even further with an Eyes Free mode that enables users to interact with their iPhone using nothing more than their voice while keeping the device’s screen from lighting up.
Owners simply connect their iPhone with the MyLink radio via Bluetooth, pair with the system, and use the steering wheel voice activation button to begin and end sessions with Siri in Eyes Free mode.
In the Eyes Free mode, owners of these cars will be able to do the following:
- Make voice-activated, hands-free calls to Contacts on their iPhone
- Play songs in the iTunes library, and even switch music sources automatically from AM/FM/XM radio to iPod mode
- Listen to, and compose and send an iMessage or text message to a phone number or anyone in saved Contacts
- Access Calendar and add appointments
- Minimize distraction even more by keeping the screen of the iPhone from lighting up, even when Siri answers simple questions such as game scores or the dates of national holidays
Siri won’t answer complex questions that require displaying a web page etc. while in Eyes Free mode as the idea behind the feature is to minimize the distractions as much as possible.