Auto Tech

Harman concept puts a video screen in your car's roof

For CES 2018, Harman brings a new concept for in-car entertainment, replacing the moon or sun roof with its MoodRoof video screen.

Harman QLED MoodRoof

Harman's concept QLED MoodRoof puts a video screen in your car's roof, enhancing audio with groovy visuals.

Harman

Surround sound audio systems made their way into cars over the last decade, providing a more immersive audio experience. At CES 2018, automotive electronics supplier Harman takes this immersive experience to a new level by plastering the car's ceiling with video.

Harman calls the concept technology QLED MoodRoof, and it comes as part of a larger audio suite it calls Moodscape. 

And lest you worry that visual imagery flowing in sync to music might distract drivers, Harman says this technology is aimed at future self-driving cars, in which passengers will find themselves with plenty of time on their hands.

Development of self-driving cars proceeds apace, and some companies have begun to consider how people will spend their time in these vehicles. An Intel-sponsored study estimates the economy around self-driving cars, including in-cabin entertainment, at $7 trillion by 2050. To that end, Intel has already announced a deal with Warner Brothers, and Renault cut a deal with French publisher Challenges Group, to provide content to self-driving car passengers. 

Harman will demonstrate its Moodscape suite, which combines dynamic audio programming with visual content, during CES 2018. Along with the QLED MoodRoof, the suite includes a technology called Music Motivator, which dynamically programs music based on external information, such as the passenger's calendar appointments, vehicle location and even a biometric analysis of their emotional state. Music Motivator attempts to replicate how a good DJ can read a room and choose what to play.

Samsung, which recently bought Harman, uses the term QLED in branding for its line of televisions, which suggests Harman is leveraging Samsung's technology.

Actual implementation of the QLED MoodRoof depends on a vehicle manufacturer. With many manufacturers targeting 2020 for their self-driving cars, this type of in-cabin entertainment shouldn't be too far behind.