It's National Inventor’s Day, and a time to honor the inventors whose ingenuity and hard work make our lives infinitely better. HARMAN is proud to celebrate its own inventors beginning with our in-house R&D Group that is behind many of our 6,500 patents that make their way into automotive, audio and connected services technologies and solutions.

Sanjay Dhawan, HARMAN Chief Technology Officer, Executive Vice President and President – Connected Services division, leads a dedicated group of thought leaders focused on four main areas – Audio, Automotive, User Experience and AI, and Strategy, Operations and Innovation Management.


Our Audio team is led by Kevin Hague and leverages long-range technology to make high-tech advancements in the design and development of our headphones, speakers and audio solutions. Tim VanGoethem heads our automotive team and directs the definition and development of our multi-generational, global Infotainment platforms including the digital cockpit and HARMAN Ignite. Stefan Marti founded HARMAN’s Future Experience Team, who perform vision driven research and engineering on User Experience and AI and are tasked with creating new technologies and product opportunities. Rounding out the Connected Services division is Donald Butts, who leads the adoption of innovative opportunities through strategic partnerships and provides comprehensive program and innovation management. Together with their teams, Kevin, Tim, Stefan and Donald are responsible for developing the software and technologies that powers a multitude of impressive products from HARMAN, including:

  • Driver Monitoring for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, which ensures the safety of drivers and passengers by inspecting blind spots, helping drivers stay in their lanes and spotting potential collisions
  • 5+1 Automotive Security Solution. This cybersecurity solution protects connected cars against cyberattacks through the identification of vulnerabilities and the deployment of appropriate security countermeasures
  • Automotive Screen Sharing Technologies, such as Baidu CarLife, is a vehicle networking solution that offers advanced Internet capabilities and entertainment features on HARMAN’s in-car infotainment consoles designed for the Chinese Market
  • DSP for Virtual Personal Assistant Speakers from Harman Kardon and JBL. Every speaker is equipped with the high computing power of the DSP to allow all amplifier channels to be individually adjusted and provide a superior listening experience
  • Response curve technology for headphones from AKG, Harman Kardon, and JBL, originated from research conducted with the Audio Engineering Society that determined that a targeted sound curve and frequency response is directly related to optimal sound quality and listener preference
FM Tuner

Our highly-skilled and talented inventors have helped establish HARMAN as a leading developer of new technology, and our rich past in the audio and automotive industries is indicative of their acumen and expertise. HARMAN is known for powering some of history’s biggest events, such as the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969, and the creation of several historical inventions; including the first dynamic cardioid microphone and the first FM tuner in 1953, the world’s first stereo receiver in 1958, the first THX licensed theater audio system in 1983, the first OEM branded car audio system in 1984, as well as one of the first iPod audio docks and enabling the first Bluetooth wireless connectivity in a car in 2004.


Since 1937, HARMAN engineers have received two Academy Awards, three Grammy awards, and a multitude of accolades for product design, improvements in cybersecurity, automotive innovation, advancements in IoT and more. Earlier this year, some HARMAN inventors were honored at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show where the JBL Intonato 24 tuning system and AKG C636 microphone received NAMM Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards, JBL Professional was recognized for Sound Reinforcement Line of the Year, and the JBL EON ONE PRO received the Music & Sound Award for Best Speaker of 2017. Most recently, the Business Intelligence Group also named HARMAN a winner in the 2018 BIG Innovation Awards for our integration of Apple CarPlay into our infotainment systems – the first implementation of its kind. 

Our innovation team is always looking forward, ready to anticipate the ‘Next Big Thing’. For HARMAN, that means continuously developing and engineering solutions that enhance life’s experiences. On National Inventor’s Day, we honor the ingenuity and accomplishments of those inventors who are helping to make our connected vision a reality. 

Pay tribute to your favorite HARMAN inventors and inventions this Inventor’s Day by tweeting about them with the #HARMANinvents hashtag!