Harman is focusing on personalising the in-vehicle sound experience with the introduction of its Individual Sound Zones (ISZ) technology at CES 2015, which it states builds on the principals of active noise management and sonic personalisation.ISZ is a new in-cabin technology enabling drivers and passengers to create sonic zones, which Harman states effectively reduces the “clutter” of various vehicle noises, allowing vehicle occupants to concentrate on the sounds relevant to them.
“ISZ is an innovative acoustic design and complementary digital signal processing that maximises speaker directivity and minimises crosstalk in and between the zones in a vehicle for a more personalised in-cabin experience,” Harman states.
“ISZ does not eliminate all sound signals, but tunes the vehicle to ensure passengers’ audio experience is optimised for their location in the vehicle and current mode of listening.”
The technology utilises a vehicle’s existing audio system speakers with the addition of headrest speakers equipped with micro-speaker technology, along with thin and flat electro dynamic planar loudspeakers in the vehicle ceiling.
The digital signal processing is specifically adjusted to the vehicle cabin and speakers, tempering the signals from other zones, such as music, voice or other noises.
While passengers can still hear other sounds in the cabin, the sounds are controlled in a way designed to limit interruptions and distractions, with passengers able to activate and control their zone.