@CloudExpo Authors: David Sprott, Hollis Tibbetts, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, William Schmarzo

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HARMAN Develops Scalable Infotainment Solution to Deliver Car-Centric Apps and Services through Android Platform

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 Chairman, 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, personalized 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. Because 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. HARMAN 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 consumer 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 button. 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 environment. 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 vehicle 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 applications 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.

HARMAN at CES 2013

Visit HARMAN during CES 2013 for more details on HARMAN’s scalable infotainment platform, and to see the company’s full portfolio of infotainment and lifestyle audio systems. HARMAN is located in the Central Hall, Booth 10431, in the Las Vegas Convention Center, January 8-11, 2013. Follow HARMAN online during CES 2013:


HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,900 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $4.4 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012. The Company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE:HAR.


© 2013 HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson are trademarks of HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated, registered in the United States and/or other countries. AKG is a trademark of AKG Acoustics GmbH, registered in the United States and/or other countries. Features, specifications and appearance are subject to change without notice.

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