As we know already, people’s musical tastes vary. The driver might like to blast heavy metal while the people at the back want some Reggaeton. As a result, the passengers resort to headphones.
This also creates an unnecessary social barrier when interacting with other passengers. Kia Motors says they have a solution.
The company’s Separated Sound Zone (SSZ) technology allows each passenger of a vehicle to connect their smartphone via Bluetooth and enjoy their own music and hands-free phone calls as well, whilst maintaining a headphone-free social space where passengers can converse freely.
The SSZ technology creates and controls the acoustic fields of the car, allowing the driver and each passenger to hear isolated sounds. The many speakers installed in the vehicle feature a technology that reduce or increase audio levels of sound waves. This negates the overlap of sounds being heard in each seat, creating the same effect as the current noise cancellation systems, but without the need for headphones.
When equipped with SSZ, hands-free phone calls can also be isolated to individual passengers, ensuring privacy. Furthermore, this technology can eliminate unnecessary sounds for the passengers, but provide them only for the driver – navigation sounds or various alerts for example.
Kia said that the SSZ technology has been in development since 2014, and the completed mass production system is expected to be ready for installation in vehicles within one to two years.