Elevating Concert Experiences from the Car

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half of Americans attended one or more live music events a year. These consumers look for experiences they can share with others to bring them closer together—an immersive moment worth cherishing. Knowing this, HARMAN set out to re-define the concert experience by bringing it to the car, creating new levels of immersion and customization.

​Drivers today are looking for unprecedented levels of interaction and personalization in the car. The HARMAN ExP Drive-Live Concert solution enables these kinds of experiences, bringing live music to new heights. In a recent episode of the HARMAN Experiences Per Mile podcast, I explain the technology behind the new solution and how it’s accommodating an unmet need by consumers today who spend extended periods of time in the car either by charging them, waiting for kids at sports practice, filling time before a meeting and more. This need is turning the car into a “third living space.” This blog post highlights parts of the discussion, but you can listen to the entire podcast here


Announced at the HARMAN EXPLORE virtual event in January 2021, the HARMAN ExP Drive-Live Concert is a new concept delivering personalized and interactive live concert experiences directly in the vehicle. It combines the energy of a live concert with the type of personalization consumers look for in their digital lifestyles, allowing bi-directional interaction with the artists communicating with fans and fans to artists. 

One of the main features of Drive-Live Concert​ is Personal Audio Headrests, a platform that is available now for automakers to integrate into upcoming vehicles. Developed in collaboration with Grammer AG, a leading automotive interior and seating system supplier, the platform powers the most advanced audio features on the market such as 3D spatial audio and individual sound zones.

The standard Personal Audio Headrest can adjust the level of surround-sound and two-channel audio in accordance with personal preferences, giving vehicle occupants the opportunity to customize their individual audio experience and deliver premium HARMAN audio​. The Personal Audio Headrest Plus adds mechanized wings in the headrest, which deploy for the most immersive audio experience while driving and retract on-demand to resemble a traditional automotive headrest as needed. The movement of the wings occurs safely, quietly and comfortably without blocking critical sight lines or visibility.

At the core of the Drive-Live Concert is another new HARMAN innovation, the Live Interactive Virtual Experience (L.I.V.E.) platform. L.I.V.E. gives remote concert goers the ability to directly interact with the venue, the artist and the music all from the comfort of their vehicles, or wherever they happen to be, while also allowing artists to reciprocate with interactions of their own. Leveraging high-quality live streaming, a customer interface, a software control application and world-renowned HARMAN professional lighting and sound, L.I.V.E. can be deployed into software applications for vehicles, mobile devices and personal computers.

An essential part of the L.I.V.E. platform is an interactive fan space, which projects the energy and applause from the fans directly to the artists through displays mounted in front of the artists. L.I.V.E. supports many new types of fan interactions, including cheer-based event triggers, in-venue light and video simulations, artists' merchandise purchases and fan giveaways, along with fan voting for choosing the next song in the set list, for example. This opens a powerful two-way flow of interaction between fans and performers. Fans can channel their excitement remotely and digitally while the artists can receive this energy and feed it back into their music.

Having high bandwidth 5G connectivity will be crucial to providing the most high-quality audio and video experience that Drive-Live Concert promises to deliver. Having that type of data connection also enables  options such as live streaming through multiple camera angles. In addition, the low latency of 5G is crucial to making the interactivity as seamless and responsive as possible. When a viewer wants to interact with the musicians or fan space, the lower latency will enable them to see the response of their interaction as quickly as possible.

Soon you'll start to see vehicle interiors designed in a very different way. You can imagine the lines between your living space and your transportation space becoming more and more blurred. With autonomous driving on the horizon, people will have more free time while getting where they need to go, and with this free time, they're going to want to do the type of things they normally do with their free time. Most of these activities usually require a different type of space than current vehicles on the road today. It's a very exciting future for automotive technology and with our expertise in sound and in car audio systems, I feel HARMAN is leading the way.

To hear more from me on this topic, listen to this episode of the Experiences Per Mile podcast​
More information about HARMAN ExP Drive-Live Concert
Drive-Live Concert
The HARMAN ExP Drive-Live Concert is a new experience-centric concept delivering personalized and interactive live concert experiences directly into the vehicle.
Chris Trestain
Chris Trestain, Engineering Manager, EPIC Experience at HARMAN International 
Connect with the Author: LinkedIn​



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