Gone are the days of the old car radio. And in its place comes info-tainment for the car on the grandest of scales. Music so powerful to blow your socks off and with no next-door neighbour to complain about the volume, just turn it up a notch higher to obtain the very last bit of high-powered musical juice from it.
Following on from Audi, Bang & Olufsen and Fraunhofer and their new Symphoria concept, Continental has now caught the bug and is licensing Auro 3D technology from its inventor Auro Technologies (based in Mol, Belgium). Auro 3D, originally developed for digital cinemas, concert halls and large auditoria, is said to outclass compact discs. It adds extra depth to 5.1 surround sound, offering a three-dimensional listening experience.
The system utilises an algorithm called Auro-Matic to up-mix older formats such as mono or simple stereo recordings to a three-dimensional sound environment. Over the coming months Auro Technologies also plans to start publishing a large number of music titles which have been recorded with its Auro 11.1 technology.
As BeoPhile has previously reported, Audi is currently adding new audio dimensions for its vehicles. For its 2016 TT Roadster, the company plans to offer an innovative sound system as an option based on technology by Bang & Olufsen. The system already optimises sound through a feedback loop: a microphone in the car senses acoustical dimension and background noise and achieves a near-perfect compensation of these factors. The cherry on the cake however comes from Fraunhofer. The Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (Fraunhofer IIS) (the one that invented the MP3 algorithm) has developed a software called Symphoria capable of post-processing audio signals and optimisation of it for a better spatial experience.
In a first step, this software applies a semantic analysis to the audio signals, separating the sound components from each other. Subsequently, these components are redistributed throughout the car interior. Thus, the acoustic pattern gets more wideness and depth and provides a much greater spatial impression, says Audi. The system was introduced to the public at the CES 2013 Consumer Electronics Show.