Kia Ovi is Kia's new infotainment center that is built upon the Microsoft 's automotive platform that also powers Ford's Sync. Neowin was able to get a hands on overview of the infotainment center and can see the future of Uvo once all kinks are worked out.
The infotainment center is set in the center of the dash and provides a touchscreen interface as well as responding to voice commands. Uvo offers many of the features that you would expect, mp3 playback from USB thumb drives and Bluetooth devices, iPod and Zune support, conduct phone calls, satellite radio support and many others as well that are all integrated into the user interface. One feature that is quite convenient is the playback of text messages that are received to the device via a phones Bluetooth connection.
The service, as put by the onsite rep, is in the initial phases of being rolled out and it was apparent in our demo. Uvo had trouble recognizing Tom Warren's voice at first which we suspect may be his accent interfering with the voice recognition software. Although, after some time the device did seem to pick up and acquire his commands more successfully towards the end of our demo. A full video tour of the service can be found in the video posted below.
The device is only being offered in the 2011 Sorento CUV initially but will expand to other models. There was a Kia Soul that did have the device equipped too but that will not be an option for the vehicle until after the Summer.