BMW will offer the first factory sound system we know of that will “read back” your email as you drive. (The Ford Sync, for example, only reads back text messages, not email).
BWM will offer the capability starting in September on 2011 BMW models, but only when used with certain BlackBerry phones through Bluetooth.
The car maker will also allow BlackBerry music streaming through the car’s sound system as well as hands free calling and “reading” aloud text messages through Bluetooth.
For the email function, lucky 2011 BWM owners can use the iDrive controls (on models with Assist, Bluetooth and on-board navigation) to select the emails they want “read aloud” via text-to-speech. At present the BlackBerry Pearl 3G is the only RIM phone to support the feature although BMW plans to enable other phone makes in the future says cnet, pointing out that a BMW YouTube video demonstrating email uses an iPhone (See below).
Kenwood said it will offer email/text text-to-speech next year in aftermarket radios. Azentek has also promised the feature in a $2,700 Atlas Car PC but has failed to ship the unit after several delays and has not responded to numerous CEoutlook attempts to contact the company.