Harman Upgrades Personalized Car Audio Experiences and Voice Profiles
Harman debuted two wide-ranging solutions to personalize and upgrade the automotive audio experience this week at its Harman Explore 2022 event. The Samsung subsidiary’s new Ready Together features and the Software Enabled Branded Audio platform give each person in the car their own audio environment to isolate or merge with others in the vehicle as they choose.
Audio Alone Together
Harman’s Ready Together features leverage advanced hardware to smooth and personalize voice interaction and media playback systems, including better voice processing for interacting with voice assistants. It uses AI to produce improved audio for the car as a whole as well as for each person inside. The sound zone technology allows for a miniature soundscape around each seat without cutting off communication between people in the car. Each person in the vehicle can create a profile full of audio presets for how they prefer their audio. The ‘personal audio space’ concept of Ready Together also includes a new version of the modular Personal Audio Headrest Harman introduced last year.
The Software Enabled Branded Audio approaches the same idea of idealized personal audio experiences as a software problem. Users gain on-demand access to audio equal to the speakers built by Harman subsidiary Infinity. The individual profiles set up on the platform incorporate the sound adjustments the AI deems necessary from an ear test administered by Harman’s platform. Each seat and person is slightly different, but Harman wants each driver and passenger to create their own audio experiences, albeit one that the car’s AI finetunes depending on where someone sits and who else is in the vehicle.
Harman claims it developed Ready Together features and the Software Enabled Branded Audio platform in response to growing demand from car owners for better listening and audio interactions while on the road. The software is also designed to easily connect with other devices and platforms, including making online purchases. Harman has been building up its automotive tech of late. The company embedded Cerence’s vocal conversational AI in the Harman Ignite Store of third-party smart apps for cars. The company also set up a car version of the audio streaming service TuneIn as a resource for people looking for entertainment as they drive at $10 a month after a free trial period.
The new audio settings also include options based on the kind of entertainment playing through the speakers and screen. Harman’s Club, Live, and Talk options subtly mimic being at an outdoor event, in a music club, or listening to a speech or conversation, respectively. Regardless of what’s playing in one seat, the acoustic technology limits how much it impinges on others in the car.
“At Harman, we remain hyper-focused on delivering new in-vehicle solutions that directly solve entertainment, communication and productivity pain points for drivers and passengers alike, all while providing the same consumer tech experiences that they enjoy outside the vehicle,” Harman International Epic experience team vice president Chris Ludwig explained. “By offering these experiences via automotive-grade applications, Harman can now provide the whole family with their own personal content and space, while allowing them to remain safely connected and engaged with others while in the car.”