Will Cars Soon Transform Into Personal Studios for Gaming, Live Music & Other Multi-Sensory Experiences?

Recently, I was invited to the virtual HARMAN Explore 2021 event. I initially recognized HARMAN from the audio world and not the auto world. For example, HARMAN’s audio portfolio includes storied brands like Bang & Olufsen, JBL, Infinity, and Mark Levinson. Being a musician’s son and a former radio disc jockey, I have known and enjoyed HARMAN equipment for many years.

What I didn’t realize is how active HARMAN is in the automotive industry. Among my first realizations was learning about how the company is developing new V2X technology to ensure pedestrian safety in the cities of tomorrow. And as part of the HARMAN Explore 2021 event, I saw new and ambitious plans for how future vehicles will connect people to the world around them. 

Experiences Per Mile

Cars of the future are often described in no uncertain terms as our “personal assistants.” These intuitive vehicles can sense your mood and change the inside temperature and ambient lights accordingly; they organize your schedule, remember your grocery list, and even remind you of your anniversary. So why not a car that also doubles as a personal studio for video gaming, podcasting, and live music?

The basis of this is rooted in what HARMAN calls “Experiences per Mile.” That is to say, the way we measure a car’s value, in the future, will go beyond the standard spec sheet. In other words, buyers may start to care less about horsepower, fuel economy, and even brand name. Instead, they will be more concerned with how the technology within their vehicle can help them live a more fulfilled life, hence the term “Experiences per Mile.”

Third Living Spaces

Under the Experiences per Mile umbrella is an evolving thought process that envisions a vehicle as a personal and creative space or studio. Achieving this is open to lengthy discussion as it imagines a vehicle’s interior as a blank canvas. There is likely no single answer as there are many ways creative engineers and designers can leverage new technology to develop a vehicle’s interior into that type of environment. During the Explore event, HARMAN outlined three possible ideas known as “experience concepts,” or “ExP” for short. Those concepts are Gaming Intense Max, Creator Studio, and Drive-Live Concert.

“At HARMAN we believe cars should be for living, not just driving,” explained Christian Sobottka, Executive Vice President & President of HARMAN Automotive. “With the addition of our new HARMAN ExPs, we’re transforming the car into a ‘third space’ that delivers the experiences consumers demand, and delights with meaningful moments of magic.”

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