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. Anestimates the economy around self-driving cars, including in-cabin entertainment, at $7 trillion by 2050. To that end, Intel has already announced , and Renault cut a , 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 , 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.