Today, people’s lives are more interconnected than ever, and they expect to have the same intuitive and easyto-use control over their in-vehicle infotainment system and sound environment that they are accustomed to from their smart device and home entertainment system. HARMAN chose CES 2015 to showcase its technologies and products designed for the 21st-century connected lifestyles.
HD audio streaming
To make HD-quality audio streaming accessible wherever and whenever listeners want to enjoy their music, HARMAN now enables its premium-branded audio systems to playback 96 kHz 24-bit Studio-quality HD audio content without losing quality. HARMAN demonstrated the Harman Kardon Omni wireless HD audio eco system and Harman Kardon concept sound system. Through this system the car connects with the home audio network, which treats the vehicle simply as if it were another room in the system. As listeners leave their homes to take a drive in their car, the audio playback follows them between the home and vehicle environments.
Music aside, the automotive space – be it combustion engines, electric or hybrid cars – presents tough acoustic challenges, since road and engine noise both compromise audio quality. HARMAN’s response was to create HALOsonic, an award-winning suite of sound solutions that reduce noise and enhance sound inside and outside the vehicle.
HARMAN Road Noise Cancellation (RNC) technology minimizes unwanted noise of tires on the road surface by generating an opposing frequency to the noise and playing this back through the audio system. The result is a quieter and more comfortable cabin. Engine Order Cancellation (EOC) works on a similar principle, and reduces perceived engine noise by generating a sound wave opposite in phase to the noise wave. By decreasing perceptible cabin noise, these technologies enable automakers to reduce vehicle weight as part of the move to better fuel efficiency, but without making the car interior noisier.
Electronic Sound Synthesis (ESS) generates the authentic sounds of an engine, inside or outside the car, by synthesizing an engine sound with volume and pitch appropriate for the speed and acceleration of the vehicle. Inside the vehicle, ESSsynthesized engine harmonics provide a more intense experience
Innovation to occupants in every seat in the car. Particularly in smaller, more fuel-efficient engines, it generates the exhilarating sounds desired by customers for an enhanced drive experience, and reinforces the brand DNA of automakers. Outside the vehicle, ESS works in hybrids and electric cars to generate the audible cues that warn pedestrians of a car’s approach.
HARMAN’s HALOsonic technologies are available now to automakers, and can be implemented together or separately.
Individual Sound Zones
An explosion of in-vehicle portable electronics has dramatically altered the interior noise levels in a car. Navigation prompts and phone calls interrupt our music. Video games, audio books and digital videos all add to the sonic clutter in the cabin. HARMAN’s Individual Sound Zones (ISZ) is a new in-cabin technology that enables drivers and passengers to create sonic zones between individuals. ISZ maximizes speaker directivity and minimizes crosstalk in and between the zones in a vehicle, for more personalized in-cabin audio. The synthesized engine harmonics are routed though the internal audio speaker set, providing a more intense experience to occupants in every seat in the car. People can still hear other sounds in the cabin, but distractions are limited. ISZ can be integrated into any HARMAN in-car audio system via the amplifier, providing automakers with limitless possibilities to enhance in-car listening. It is available now to all automakers.
Advanced infotainment solutions for all vehicle segments
Customers today demand an infotainment system that is perfectly connected in and outside their car and is as intuitive to operate as their smartphones. HARMAN offers automakers a wide variety of in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) solutions that cover all vehicle segments from entry to luxury. Together with connectivity to off-board cloud services, future-proof software solutions and a unique set of audio entertainment options, HARMAN’s infotainment platform brings global perspective and affordable design to next-generation infotainment. The next- generation scalable platform introduced in 2014 covers the mid to high segment with its advanced security features and support for multiple high-resolution displays.
Smart Essentials Infotainment Platform
HARMAN’s new Smart Essentials Infotainment Platform is a feature-rich, global IVI solution designed for the entry to lower mid segment that is affordable as well as upgradable over the vehicle lifetime. This automotive-grade platform leverages the full potential of modern smartphones without compromising driver safety. The scalable platform provides automakers with the best feature-tocost ratio, with a range of options that meets virtually all global market-specific requirements.
Using the latest multi-core system-on-chip hardware, the Smart Essentials platform is designed using a flexible Linux OS framework. It leverages today’s smartphone experiences, including Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™, and supports MirrorLink® integration for familiar and simple use of popular mobile applications. To support a dynamic, visual dashboard interface, the new platform includes a 6.5 or 7-inch WVGA touch display with 800x480 pixels resolution.
The user experience is further enhanced with integrated Bluetooth telephony, voice echo cancellation and noise reduction and CAN bus interfaces for ECU and steering wheel button controls. HARMAN has also ensured that rearview backup camera support is part of the standard platform offering and supports the latest U.S. Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards and Regulations.
For automakers seeking to offer a more enriched user experience, HARMAN’s scalable platform offers a number of design options to enhance connectivity, driver safety, usability and enjoyment. Connectivity can be enhanced with Wi-Fi support and display options can be scaled to support multi-touch and swipe capabilities as well as 720p HD experience with 1280x720 resolution. Safety and convenience features can be added, including on-board 3D navigation and speech recognition.
Integrated Essentials Cockpit: keep it single
For those automakers wanting to provide their customers with a fully integrated, state-of-the-art single-display solution, HARMAN merges the Smart Essentials Platform with proven instrument cluster technology by partner Nippon Seiki. The robust, automotive-grade system offers all driver-relevant information at a glance and can be controlled by speech or any other interface – such a steering-wheel mounted touchpad. This solution is especially cost-efficient due to shared hardware and software resources, e.g. display, processors and memory, packaging and power supplies (hardware) and operating system, drivers and middleware (software).
Aha Cloud Services and over-the-air updates
HARMAN’s Aha Analytics, which aggregates and analyzes information collected through opt-in data sharing from the car’s infotainment and on-board diagnostics, can also be integrated. The generated vehicle data can support a wide array of applications, including reliable safety and lost vehicle services, location services and even remote vehicle diagnostic monitoring capabilities. This software-rich platform can also be kept up-todate and future-proofed via HARMAN Cloud Services over-theair (OTA) updates.
Integrating advanced audio solutions
As the industry leader for in-car audio solutions, HARMAN included several music and audio features into the new scalable platform. Device connectivity is supported via a USB port with up to 2.1A charging in addition to a standard auxiliary stereo audio input jack. Best-in-category audio support includes an integrated amplifier, AM/FM tuner with scan diversity and off-band TMC capability. For a more premium experience, automakers can choose to offer a wide range of audio options ranging from SD card slots to satellite radio extensions. HARMAN’s Clari-Fi™ audio restoration technology can also be supported for a premium audio experience throughout the vehicle cabin