Harman often works behind the scenes to supply the infotainment systems for the cars we know. This year, it's hoping to catch more of the limelight by putting mobile front and center. Its high-end car system for 2013 runs a unique virtualized platform that keeps vital car functions running on QNX, with an Android-based interface on top: drivers will have access to Android's usual app suite as well as an automaker-run app store. While exacting details aren't available, Harman does promise integration with mobile devices (including Apple's Siri and Google Voice Search) as well as an interface that expands the touch target when fingers get close.
If that's not sufficiently future-forward, the company also has a potentially distraction-free infotainment concept waiting in the wings. While the prototype isn't quite groundbreaking in carrying a heads-up display with augmented reality information, it builds in a pair of gesture control sensors as well; drivers won't have to take their eyes off the road, or their hands off the wheel, just to decline a call. Harman is likewise promising LTE data and a possible smart grid tie-in that shows messages only when the car is stopped at a red light. Any adoption of the infotainment updates will depend on car manufacturers lining up at an unspecified point in the future, but those who can't wait can learn more (including word of a third, basic system) after the break.
Harman Android and HUD infotainment at CES 2013
HARMAN Develops Scalable Infotainment Solution to Deliver Car-Centric Apps and Services through Android Platform
CES 2013, LAS VEGAS – HARMAN, the premium global audio and infotainment group, is demonstrating its scalable platform solution, leveraging the Android for Automotive operating system that meets the needs of today's smartphone-oriented generation by safely bringing car-centric apps and services into the car.
"The automotive industry can no longer innovate at its current pace, and HARMAN is helping OEMs create more flexible, scalable solutions that deliver leading connected solutions for tomorrow, today," said Dinesh Paliwal, HARMAN's Chair-man, President, and Chief Executive Officer. "This starts by creating an automotive-grade, intuitive user interface in the car that also delivers the connected experience consumers are accustomed to on their mobile devices."
The HARMAN app-centric infotainment concept platform shepherds a new era for in-car experiences that more effectively connects drivers to their digital worlds – the home, the office, friends and the cloud – in ways that are easy, fun, personal-ized and intuitive.
Key features in the new infotainment system include:
Car-Centric Applications and Services
HARMAN's new infotainment system is designed for safe use in the car with one-touch access to the features drivers value and expect in today's system – media, navigation, telephony, applications, and other settings. By placing these tabs at the bottom of every screen, drivers can easily and quickly find what they need while staying alert and keeping their attention focused on the road.
HARMAN is further minimizing distractions on the road by integrating sensitive icons in its new infotainment system that "grow" in size as a driver's finger approaches the system touch screen. This ensures that the touch targets are big enough for users to find quickly the first time.
A new HARMAN curated applications store makes it easy and safe for drivers to enjoy the latest applications in the car. Using the new platform, consumers can discover and download versions of applications from streaming radio, audio book services, or the latest social media feeds that are developed or adapted specifically for the automotive environment. Be-cause of the flexible design, the infotainment system is "future-proof," meaning it can add or remove apps easily as new applications are invented or made available.
Using the new infotainment system, consumers have added flexibility to bring their content into the car with them. HAR-MAN makes it easy for drivers to access content on their iPods, smartphones and iPads by providing wired and wireless interfaces that are optimized for the driving environment. This includes media and applications that are running on con-sumer mobile devices, as well as those connecting via cloud-based services like Siri and Google Voice Search.
Intuitive and Customizable Interfaces
To make the infotainment experience their own, drivers can select which applications correspond with specific tabs. For example, some drivers may prefer having the on-board navigation application launch when they press the Navigation but-ton. Others may want Google Maps to launch when they press the Navigation button. HARMAN has also provided drivers a central place to access all of the features that they interact with the most. These applications and services can be saved in a Favorites tab using one-touch access.
HARMAN's new infotainment system also delivers other key pieces of information that are useful to drivers. HARMAN is collaborating with companies such as iOnRoad to help drivers increase visibility and awareness of their driving envi-ronment. Warnings to alert drivers as they approach another car or if they unintentionally change lanes help keep everyone on the road safe. HARMAN is working with other solutions providers to continue evolving 360 degree views of the vehi-cle to assist with parking, provide rear camera views and warnings, and other applications.
In the future, the HARMAN system will be able to "learn" what the driver interacts with the most, and automatically add these choices to the Favorites screen – minimizing the need for the driver to do this manually. In addition, future systems will have the ability to store multiple profiles, so that each driver can enjoy a personalized infotainment experience adapted to their preferences. This includes unique Favorites screens, as well as personalized music preferences, calendars and seat positions.
Security is Paramount
To protect the vehicle bus and other critical features, HARMAN has created a virtualized platform where the core and car-centric applications and services run on the proven QNX operating system, and the User Interface and downloaded applica-tions run in the Android for Automotive environment. By taking this approach, HARMAN's platform uses the best of both worlds – the proven performance and stability of QNX and the flexibility and extensibility of Android for Automotive.
CES 2013 Las Vegas: HARMAN showcases premium infotainment technologies for connected in-car safety and entertainment
Augmented navigation, gesture control, high speed networking, brilliant graphics, and smart connectivity are brought together for the ultimate in-car premium infotainment experience.
CES 2013, LAS VEGAS – HARMAN, the premium global audio and infotainment group, is unveiling its vision for tomorrow's premium infotainment experience that leverages advanced safety and entertainment innovations including interactive head-up displays with augmented navigation, touch-free gesture controls, and the latest connectivity options.
As the automotive sector pushes the boundaries of multimedia connectivity in the vehicle, exciting opportunities are emerging. Far from being a distraction, seamless in-vehicle access to road conditions, real-time traffic, and other media is key to driver safety. The new infotainment concept from HARMAN combines the latest in seamless connectivity solutions such as 4G/LTE to combine navigation data with a variety of external data to offer the driver richer safety data and driver assistance features. The concept is based around a "multi-display" concept, where the in-dash center console, instrumentation cluster, and head-up display are fully integrated.
The multi-display concept takes the breadth and depth of information available to a driver to a new level and also makes driver interaction safer than ever. HARMAN's augmented navigation creates creates a "virtual reality" guidance experience, projecting guidance aids such as upcoming exits, signals, or collision warnings onto the windshield – helping keep the drivers' eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
The unit includes advanced safety features to enable the vehicle to interact with its driver via the head-up display – for example, giving the driver an instant, unmissable cue (visual, audio or both) that the vehicle is leaving its lane, or that there is another vehicle in the driver's blind spot. All this information is projected directly into the driver's line of vision via the head-up display – the eyes don´t have to leave the road, and thus don't have to change focus. Operation of the unit is totally touch-free: drivers change the display content safely by gesture control. Highly intuitive to use, touch-free gesture control puts drivers in charge of an array of infotainment options without the hazard of distraction: for instance, the driver can reject an incoming phone call just with a swipe of the hand, or change what's shown on the display.
"We're delighted to be introducing this exciting new system," says Michael Mauser, executive vice president and co-president Infotainment and Lifestyle. "It's a totally logical step for us. The automotive sector is moving to ever greater in-car connectivity and multimedia, and HARMAN, with its groundbreaking in-vehicle infotainment solutions, is ideally positioned to make this technology part of the smart, responsive control systems in an advanced head-up display. There are some great synergies just waiting to be used."
Highly connected and touch-free
The new head-up unit has a spacious display area, high resolution and excellent color depth, giving drivers the detail and clarity they need to interpret information feeds instantly. Navigation is easier than ever, with the guidance arrows projected into the driver's view. The head-up unit is also designed for maximum convenience, with a face recognition feature to identify drivers and automatically adjust settings such as seat position. For seamless high-end connectivity, the unit features LTE capabilities and an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot for streaming content such as email and weather updates. Drivers and passengers can hook up their own devices with minimum fuss, bringing greater entertainment choices into the car.
In the "Smart Cities" of the future, the vehicle control unit can even be connected to the city infrastructure. It will know how long the car has to wait for example at a red light, and depending on driver preferences can use this time to stream email or messages to the head-up display. As ever, safety is paramount – the unit never challenges the driver more than the traffic situation allows, and the infostream is turned off before the lights go green. Accordingly, every generation can enjoy a relaxed yet aware driving experience – not just older drivers who will appreciate the responsiveness of the system, but also younger "digital natives" who will like the connectivity and multimedia options.
HARMAN Addresses Market for Entry-Level Infotainment with new Connected Radio Platform
CES 2013, LAS VEGAS – HARMAN, the premium global audio and infotainment group (NYSE:HAR), announced today an expansion of the company's infotainment portfolio with the new HARMAN connected radio platform. Targeted at the mainstream entry-level segment, the new HARMAN platform delivers a value solution to OEMs including leading-edge mobile content integration features as well as a seamless radio experience for consumers.
"The pervasiveness of today's mobile devices and connected experiences is fueling greater consumer demand for easy and safe access to information, entertainment and personalized content in cars," said Dinesh Paliwal, HARMAN Chairman, President, and CEO. "We are making it possible for more consumers to enjoy a high-quality infotainment experience as well as making it even simpler and safer to use, thanks to features such as hands-free operation and integration with the user's own smartphone."
The unit offers clear benefits to automakers: with the same cost of basic radio, OEMs can add smartphone connectivity with HARMAN's AHA radio, turn-by-turn navigation and voice prompts into their vehicles, as well as meet fast development cycles and delivery.
The HARMAN connected radio supports a range of external user devices, including USB, SD, MP3 players including iPod, and a wide range of smart phones. Using the same NFC technology employed in HARMAN's high-end infotainment products, consumers can easily connect their smartphones with the head unit in-vehicle. The head unit then uses the driver's preferred navigation app straight from the Smartphone.
Additional key features of HARMAN connected radio include:
· Integration with AHA Radio, the first interactive platform that organizes Web-based content into personalized, live and on-demand radio stations that consumers can access anywhere
· Turn-by-turn navigation via Smartphone app with spoken and visual instructions
· Hands-free phoning via Bluetooth – the microphone is automatically turned on when a call comes inAlso available as a packaged option with Harman branded audio technology, automotive OEMs can combine the HARMAN connected radio with an immersive HARMAN sound system to deliver an enhanced in-car acoustic experience using any of the company's leading audio brands.