Harman, the American audio specialists, a now-subsidiary of Samsung Electronics has announced a new auto-fading technology. which triggers when the system recognises in-car chatter. Unveiled at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the company has poised its technology to the EV market – its ‘Voice-Sensing Volume Fade’ will be part of its EV Plus+ Solutions package, can be emplored by automakers and ultimately, offered as an option to consumers.
In principle, the technology is aimed at reducing the need of a driver or indeed a passenger of having to shout over the in-car audio system; whereby most would turn down the volume in order to make conversation. Harman’s system is tipped to be able to differentiate between in-car chatter and music, although, little is known about how the company wants to achieve its goal – will it have microphones dotted around the cabin? Can the tech pickup whispers? How quickly will the music resume after a conversation has finished; will it be instantaneous? All of these questions are still unknown.
The aim, however, is clear and it’s great to see Harman aiming at the EV market. The company has announced a few products and innovations at the consumer show, but this one might be one of the easiest technologies to implement in upcoming electric cars.
The Voice-Sensing Volume Fade feature will be accessible through Harman’s Audio Marketplace, a new, cloud-based ecosystem that will allow consumers to add and update their in-car audio system remotely. Elsewhere, the company has partnered up with National Park Foundation in the US to provide ‘NatureScapes’. These are recordings from Yosemite Falls and Mammoth Dome, which can be accessed by an owner of a vehicle that features Harman’s system. This will allow a vehicle’s driver and passenger to be fully immersed in nature, and block out the busy and often stressful traffic conditions drivers face on their commutes.
In order to limit battery consumption, Harman has also ensured that its upcoming audio technology consumes minimal power; the company has achieved this by halving the number of parts, and in turn, reducing the weight and complexity of the system.
“At Harman, we believe the next-generation of mobility should convert the time you spend in your car into time well spent – and electric vehicles are no exception,” said Bill Wyman, VP of Global Marketing, Lifestyle Automotive. “Environmental concerns are guiding purchase decisions more and more, but the demand for premium experiences hasn’t changed. Through the ground-breaking delivery system of Ecotect that underpins EV Plus+ Solutions, we’re enabling automakers to fulfil these needs for their customers, without compromises, for the very first time.”
It’s great to see an audio-centric company take to environmental concerns seriously. We can’t wait to see how this system works in different driving conditions; we’ll be sure to put it through its paces when it comes to market.