Harman International in Novi, a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., today announced the acquisition of Apostera, a German automotive technology company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Apostera’s augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) software solutions are expected to expand Harman’s automotive product offerings and position the company at the forefront of automotive AR/MR experience design.
“Harman is dedicated to delivering in-car experiences with the speed and flexibility of consumer technology together with the reliability and performance of automotive grade solutions,” says Christian Sobottka, president of the automotive division at Harman. “By seamlessly blending AR with the physical environment, Apostera’s mixed reality solution furthers this goal, transforming any display in the car into a richly contextual experience.”
Apostera’s mixed reality solution combines AR, machine learning, computer vision, and sensor fusion in a hardware-agnostic software platform. Combined with Harman’s digital cockpit product portfolio, these new software solutions aim to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds.
“We are proud to join Harman, a visionary leader in automotive technologies that has been central to the digital transformation of the industry,” says Andrey Golubinskiy, CEO of Apostera. “The scale and reach that Harman will bring to our technologies will propel their adoption as the industry benchmark and bring richer in-vehicle experiences to more drivers than ever before.”
In related news: Harman announced two new acoustic innovations, Ready Together and Software Enabled Branded Audio, during the company’s Explore 2022 event.
Ready Together uses advanced acoustic technology to streamline and enhance in-vehicle communication and entertainment. Software Enabled Branded Audio is an on-demand software platform that upgrades the sound quality and feature set of existing unbranded car audio systems with the touch of a button. Both products are ready for in-vehicle integration.
“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,” says Chris Ludwig, vice president, Epic Experience team at Harman International.
“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.”
Ready Together delivers better ways for the entire family to be safely connected while enjoying shared or personalized entertainment in the vehicle. It manages and optimizes features like voice prompts, alerts, and music and media to work together as an integrated whole, for seamless information and communication.
Key features include:
- Immersive audio experiences:Families can enjoy a shared listening experience, powered by the latest audio innovations from Harman. When they want to enjoy their own content, sound zone technology enables that level of personalization.
- Enhanced in-car communication:Advanced noise management, microphone, and voice processing capability enables clear conversations for all vehicle occupants.
- Customized profiles:A fully customizable experience for families that caters to every lifestyle. Dedicated profiles and presets for each driver and passenger deliver independent entertainment, customized for all types of trips, with no interruptions.
Harman also will introduce an updated Personal Audio Headrest as part of the Ready Together solution. The Personal Audio Headrest’s unique design is more efficient and streamlined to create the best audio headrest on the market.
Software Enabled Branded Audio offers consumers a user-friendly and affordable way to elevate and customize their unbranded in-cabin audio systems to deliver the sound and character of Harman’s Infinity brand — on demand and with no additional hardware required.
The features include:
- Infinity branded sound on-demand: Easily activated through the in-vehicle infotainment system at any point during the life of the vehicle.
- Personalized EQ overlay: Customized according to individual listening tests based on Harman’s patented Personi-Fi technology.
- Seat-specific tuning:Optimized for location and number of occupants and enhances image and overall sound quality.
- Multi-profile user management:Personalized settings for each user to switch between easily and quickly.
Customizable sound experiences are created with technology based on Harman’s Virtual Venues, which transforms the vehicle interior with the acoustic characteristics of a real-world performance environment. Experiences include live, club, and talk, each enhancing the audio in a specific manner for specific content.
In related news: Harman also introduced today a multi-access edge compute (MEC) software platform that enables automotive and mobile network operators to deliver ultra-low latency applications and services on edge computing infrastructure called MECWave.
By operating on the edge with ultra-low latency, MECWave accelerates the deployment of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications, including safety-critical applications like hazard alerts, along with high-throughput connectivity experiences like interactive infotainment and video streaming.
MECWave also extends V2X capabilities to non-V2X capable vehicles and devices such as bikes and scooters, as well as mobile and wearable devices. With MECWave, OEMs are empowered to deploy connected features for consumers more quickly and with far less complexity, enabling meaningful innovation today and into the future.
“Today, technology holds the opportunity to transform so many automotive experiences, but the most important are those that can enhance safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians,” says Ram Iyer, senior vice president of connectivity at Harman International.
“At Harman, we are focused on building city intelligence and delivering safer communications between the car and its environment to satisfy the growing need for connectivity. With the introduction of MECWave, our Harman Savari solutions enable OEMs to deliver meaningful innovations to consumers that not only make life on the road more connected and better informed, but safer for everyone.”
MECWave is complemented by two additional Harman solutions: Savari StreetWave and Savari MobiWave, which can be deployed together or independently to further enhance vehicle communication. The StreetWave roadside unit is a critical node for vehicular connectivity, leveraging wireless technologies to enable a communication framework between infrastructure and vehicles.
Similarly, the MobiWave wireless vehicular on-board unit combines existing telematics control units with V2X services to reduce traffic-related emergencies through functionalities including ASD, “Here I Am” device, and more.
Together, the Harman Savari solution portfolio equips drivers and passengers with the ability to experience their surroundings in new ways, delivering new safety, convenience, and entertainment opportunities, including in inclement weather, wrong-way driver scenarios, and vulnerable road user scenarios.