Most car audio systems make up only a part of a vehicle’s interior. A new technology, however, sees sound systems as the entire interior itself.
German automotive supplier Continental Corp has come up with an innovative audio system that removes the need for traditional speakers in cars. Called ‘Ac2ated Sound’, the new technology relies on parts of the vehicle’s interior – such as the doors, ceiling, and dashboard – to produce sound.
To be more technical about it, the system uses compact actuators to create certain frequencies that are normally provided by speakers.
“The A pillars, the dashboard, the ceiling and the back covers of the seat produce the sound,” Jens Friedrich, an acoustic engineer with Continental Engineering Services, told Forbes.
“Every surface has its own acoustic behavior. If I knock here, for example,” he added while tapping the dashboard, “it produces a sound. If I knock here,” he said while pounding the A pillar, “it produces a different sound.”
In addition, the A-pillars can produce high frequencies, the door panels can generate medium frequencies, and the rear shelf and roof lining can make low frequencies.
The company claims that their speaker-less system is equal to that of high-end audio systems. They hope that this new development will make cars more spacious and lighter – a big plus or electric cars.
“Electric vehicles are pretty heavy due to the battery,” said Friedrich. “Automakers ask us to reduce weight on every other component, and with this technology we can provide a big weight savings.”
Continental also sees the system as a game-changer in the way we interact with automobiles in the future. For example, instead of turning nobs and pushing buttons, we can soon be giving voice commands to our radio.
That’s cool and all, but what we really want to know is, when will cars finally come with a karaoke machine?