If there's one place where a digital display seems least necessary, it's the roof.

Harman apparently thinks that riding in autonomous vehicles could be a very stressful experience, so it has a concept at CES that includes a massive digital display in place of a normal roof. The company calls the weird item MoodRoof, which is just a part of the larger Moodscape entertainment suite. 

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Harman believes "automakers are placing an increasing emphasis on the vehicle interior as a place for reflection and focus," and Moodscape is the firm's plan to make this in-car relaxation possible. The tech tries to keep an occupant calm by adjusting the music and volume based on the person's daily schedule. So if you're heading to a meeting or a party, the system tries to pick the appropriate music to match the upcoming experience.

The bizarre QLED MoodRoof fills the cabin for natural sounds and displays matching images on the digital roof. The company's example shows scenes like a forest or underwater as some of the options. When you're stuck in stop-and-go traffic seeing a picture of some trees probably isn't enough to calm down.

Creating a more relaxing automotive cabin is a noble effort, but picking the right music and playing nature sounds doesn't seem like the most effective way to achieve the goal. It's just not that simple to make being behind the wheel less stressful. 

Harman also has a more useful concept at CES that could make an Uber ride more entertaining. By using shape-shifting speakers, the company's Configurable Entertainment idea would allow multiple passengers in a ride-hailing vehicle to listen to their preferred audio. The system would be able to adjust the audio equalizer on-demand to tailor the listening experience to each person.

Source: Harman, Harman via YouTube

Gallery: Harman Moodscape and MoodRoof

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New HARMAN UX Solutions Deliver Unprecedented In-Car Comfort and Entertainment Experiences at CES 2018
Configurable Entertainment and Moodscape designed for a future of personalized connectivity, shared mobility and autonomous vehicles
January 08, 2018 Branded Audio
CES – LAS VEGAS – January 8, 2018 – HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, today announced Configurable Entertainment and Moodscape, the latest experience-centric lifestyle automotive solutions offering personalized entertainment, comfort and convenience for passengers. Developed on the company’s new HARMAN AudioworX platform, these new solutions deliver intelligently tailored in-vehicle experiences, ushering in a new era of personalization for shared mobility and autonomous vehicles.

“When it comes to their vehicles, today’s consumers are all about the experience and are less concerned about the technology behind it. At HARMAN, we are constantly focused on innovating with the passenger in mind, integrating emerging technology with software-driven audio to provide the effortless, responsive experiences consumers have come to expect,” said Michael Mauser, President, Lifestyle Audio for HARMAN. “Moodscape and Configurable Entertainment are perfect examples of how we’re re-inventing what is possible in the vehicle today, as well as for the autonomous future.”

Configurable Entertainment: A Personalized Experience for Every Passenger, Every Ride, Every Day

The sharing economy shows no sign of slowing down, and car ownership trends will continue to shift. Consumers, however, continue to demand seamless connectivity and in-vehicle personalization. These can be sacrificed with today’s ride sharing services, where personalization options are often dictated by owner rather than passenger preferences. Targeted to shared fleet organizations like Uber and Lyft, HARMAN’s proprietary, software-based Configurable Entertainment allows shared mobility providers to offer multiple in-car brand and entertainment experiences through a single set of in-vehicle hardware. This puts the power of personalization back into the hands of ride-share passengers, making every ride an extension of their lifestyle.

With Configurable Entertainment, automakers can further differentiate from competitors and increase overall customer satisfaction by offering consumers a choice of in-vehicle audio brand experiences. For example, one user can select in-vehicle gaming or a heart-pounding concert experience through JBL audio for their ride; while the next passenger – in the same vehicle  – can choose a completely different experience, such as watching a movie or enjoying a more intimate music performance with the refined sound of Harman Kardon to enhance their trip. 

Key Features for Configurable Entertainment include:

Proprietary Shape-shifting Speakers: In-vehicle speakers transform in real-time to provide different experiences in line with user preferences. For example, a unique sound bar or tweeter can dynamically morph from one audio brand experience to another, both sonically and visually.
Unique Industrial Design: Brand-specific visual elements such as logos and speaker grilles can change in real-time to match user preferences.
Adaptive Audio EQ’s: Sound tuning will adjust on-demand to deliver the iconic listening experience associated with the user’s preferred audio brand.
Configurable Entertainment leverages HARMAN's award-winning automotive cloud platform, HARMAN Ignite for seamless connectivity and device management, allowing passengers to personalize in-vehicle entertainment experiences in real-time – a first for the industry. Preferred personal settings can be catalogued, saved on compatible devices and seamlessly deployed for any ride. For automakers, it is an example of how HARMAN provides a complete, end-to-end solution for implementing advanced connected in-vehicle applications and features.

Moodscape: Focus on the Moments that Matter in your Day

Automakers are placing an increasing emphasis on the vehicle interior as a place for reflection and focus in response to growing consumer interest in wellness and lifestyle optimization. In step with this trend, HARMAN’s Moodscape uses mood-based features to redefine comfort and entertainment in the daily commute.

Moodscape intuitively adjusts the in-cabin audio experience, delivering music with a mood-based EQ and sound levels to help passengers prepare for whatever is next in their day. Additionally, Moodscape features new HARMAN QLED Auto technology, providing a stunning visual experience for passengers through the first-ever automotive QLED vehicle roof application.

Key features of Moodscape include:

Music Motivator: Whether heading to a meeting, to a party or to the gym, Music Motivator synchronizes with calendars, identifies GPS routes and analyzes available biometric feedback to build and deliver an audio experience based on passengers’ whereabouts, schedule and energy level – so that wherever they are headed, they arrive focused and ready.
Personalized Audio Alerts: Created with safety in mind, Personalized Audio Alerts heightens attention to navigation, traffic and weather incidents through directional audio, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road and respond more quickly to prompts.
HARMAN QLED MoodRoof: The passenger’s choice of environmental sounds fills the cabin, complemented by a state-of-the art visual experience through HARMAN’s QLED MoodRoof. Tailor-made for autonomous vehicles, MoodRoof replaces the traditional moon roof with a choice of immersive visual landscapes brought to stunning life by this first-of-its-kind automotive QLED application.
Both Configurable Entertainment and Moodscape will be demonstrated at the HARMAN Showcase at CES 2018.

HARMAN at CES 2018

Visit the HARMAN showcase during CES 2018 for demonstrations of the company’s full portfolio of connected car and lifestyle audio systems that enable the connected life. The HARMAN experience showcase is located at the Hard Rock Hotel.  Follow HARMAN online during CES 2018:

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ABOUT HARMAN

HARMAN (harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and services supporting the Internet of Things.  With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 50 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. Our software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 30,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In March 2017, HARMAN became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.