Microsoft patent details in-car stereo with docking station

Hearing Microsoft's name and "in-car stereo" in the same sentence should elicit any forms of surprise, as we've long since known that Redmond was looking to up the ante of automotive entertainment in a bevy of Ford vehicles later this year. A recent patent was granted to the firm that details a "car stereo including a docking station into which an off-the-shelf handheld computer can be docked," and additionally, it insinuates that a multitude of devices will be supported. Of course, we already knew the iPod would play nice with Sync, and while it doesn't specify if each individual DAP that you cram in this thing will have its own interface to display ID3 tags and the like, it sure seems that the major ones will. Another tidbit is the inclusion of a memory system that will "maintain a record its current state when it is undocked from a particular type of appliance," meaning that when you return and re-dock your handheld, everything should resume without any hassle. Best of all, however, is the insinuation that it won't be limited to just DAPs and PMPs, as "another interface form may allow the user to select from resources such as GPS, internet, a printer over USB, etc."

[Via InformationWeek]