Here’s a broad overview of what to expect in car audio innovation at CES next week.
First, voice assistants will blanket the show and car audio is jumping on the trend. Alexa-controlled car radios have already been announced by Kenwood, JVC and Boss Audio, and more brands will show Alexa 12 volt products at CES.
CarPlay will continue to go wireless with more brands adopting the feature. We also expect new lower-cost wired CarPlay and Android Auto decks.
More advanced tech that will be embedded in car radios for the first time.
In Hi-Res Audio, streaming service Qobuz plans to announce the date of its US launch at CES.
Audio in New Vehicles
On the OEM side, you could say this year’s CES will be more about sensors than audio. But that would be shortsighted.
Audio will actually figure prominently in many car makers’ booths.
Car companies are developing separate audio zones around each occupant of the car so that they can listen to their own music. At CES we’ll see the concept go a step further; stay tuned.
With the advent of smart speakers and voice agents like Alexa, far field technology is suddenly in the spotlight. The technology uses microphones, noise cancelling and algorithms to allow Alexa and Google Assistant, etc. to hear your commands even while heating and cooling jets are blasting in the car. Aftermarket car audio suppliers, as well as car makers, will be announcing use of this technology.
And car makers are developing new audio signalling methods to keep drivers aware of road hazards. It’s tricky business, these driver warnings, because too harsh or frequent warnings will eventually be ignored or disabled by the driver. So suppliers are turning to audio as a solution. Honda said it will demonstrate 3D audio technology at CES that sends audio signals to each of the driver’s ears independently to deliver more intuitive road warnings and a “more intuitive navigation experience.”
Car technology will cover 300,000 square feet of floor space at CES this year, more than the total size of many standalone car shows, reports Bloomberg.
Other New Tech
Facial recognition, now popular in phones, will migrate to cars, as well as to products like video doorbells to improve security.
Overall, in consumer electronics, CES should also see new robots, more voice-activated devices (Amazon will be on the show floor with an Alexa booth and Google has tripled its presence), and folding smartphone displays.
And expect to hear a lot about 5G-ready devices.
Related articles: see https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ces-2019-dashboard-dreams-roger-c-lanctot/?published=t