[CES 2013] I guess it would make plenty of sense when you shack up two premium brands together – after all, to have something like a pristine Ferrari parked in a junkyard does not make much sense, so we are not too surprised to see Bavarian automaker BMW team up with Harman, the premium global audio and infotainment group. Harman will deliver what they call as the “core” of the BMW “ConnectedDrive” experience, thanks to its premium infotainment unit that offers a seamless experience into the vehicle by merging wireless connectivity, enhanced navigation and productivity applications, turning your ride into a mobile office without compromising on safety. In fact, it is said to be future-proof (not indefinitely, of course) courtesy of its upgradeable software architecture, and if you are at CES this year, you can check it out at the Harman booth with the new BMW 3 Series parked there. Some of the infotainment features that were thrown into the mix include a special “birds-eye” view that is accompanied by realistic 3D city models, advanced guiding and new location-based services such as weather information.
To clue in your vehicle on your destination is a snap – all it takes is what they call the “one-shot” action, where the city, street and building number are there in one natural sequence. A high-resolution 1280×480 display accompanied by a 1.3GHz processor offers unprecedented clarity and detail, which paves the way for Harman engineers to create a human machine interface (HMI) which can support 3D menus, hence helping streamline choices while minimizing driver distraction.
There is also a number of industry firsts included with the Harman infotainment system, where you can concentrate on the road while dictating short emails, texts or voice memos, which can be sent on the spot via mobile uplink or to be saved for later. You can also be hooked up to your favorite social network via the head unit thanks to an embedded BMW iPhone App with the option to boot up third party apps sometime down the road.
Expect to see the latest premium infotainment innovations by Harman for BMW later this month Stateside, where the 7-, 5- and 3-series vehicles will carry them.