CES 2019, LAS VEGAS – JANUARY 7, 2019 – HARMAN International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, has announced the release of Personi-Fi, the world’s first hardware-agnostic personal audio platform. Offering maximum accessibility, Personi-Fi is a device and cloud-based entertainment system designed to provide users with a simple, seamless, personalized audio experience wherever they are. This groundbreaking technology will be on display at the HARMAN CES 2019 showcase in Las Vegas.
“HARMAN Personi-Fi is an ingenious combination of smart phone app and cloud service that brings a personalized experience to any device in any environment, whether the listener is in the car, at home, or on the go,” said Michael Mauser, President, Lifestyle Audio at HARMAN.
The inspiration behind Personi-Fi
The industry lies at the convergence of several megatrends, namely shared mobility, streaming services, connectivity, autonomous driving, and AI. These are accompanied by a growing consumer demand for personalization – today’s consumers want and expect their experiences to mirror their individuality and adapt to their tastes and desires. Seeking to meet this growing need and create a personalized connection with its customers, HARMAN developed Personi-Fi, a cloud-based brand agnostic entertainment solution that uses personal sound tailoring captured in a simple user interface to optimize the listening experience on any device, anytime, anywhere.
How Personi-Fi works
Personi-Fi uses a dedicated app to capture the user’s personal sound preferences: how they listen, what they like to listen to, and where they like to listen to it. These preferences are stored in the cloud. Next, specialized signal processing creates immersive sound environments, even 3D sound, which can also be personalized to the user’s device and environment. The processing supports both Bluetooth streaming from smart phone or direct-to-device WiFi / LTE streaming for smart speakers and connected cars. Personi-Fi also features over 200 DSP algorithms and technologies such as Virtual Venues, Individual Sound Zones (ISZ), Clari-Fi, Hearing Profile, and DIRAC Panorama. How listeners use Personi-Fi to optimize their audio experience depends on their device:
- Personi-Fi on mobile devices
On mobile devices, Personi-Fi preferences for each user and their associated devices and services are downloaded from the cloud to the smart phone companion app. The app acts as a bridge between the cloud and the device, as well as a processing engine for Personi-Fi algorithms including Clari-Fi, Virtual Venues, 3D audio, environment optimization, and more. The processed content is then streamed to the Bluetooth device. Because there is no processing on the device itself, it can be any brand or type of Bluetooth endpoint (e.g. headphones, speaker, or car audio Bluetooth interface).
- Personi-Fi on WiFi smart devices
On WiFi smart devices, Personi-Fi preferences for each user and their associated devices and services are downloaded directly to the end device. The Companion App acts only as remote control and microphone for room EQ processing. The smart device then performs all Personi-Fi processing such as listener preference EQ, stereo widening, and room EQ.
- Personi-Fi in the car
In the car environment, Personi-Fi preferences for each user and their associated devices and services are downloaded directly to the end device. The Companion App acts only as remote control.
The car then performs the Personi-Fi processing on the head unit or amplifier, including listener preference EQ, Clari-Fi, Virtual Venues, stereo widening, and car seat location EQ. In addition to improved acoustic performance over app-only versions, this integration into the vehicle processing components unlocks a multitude of advanced Personi-Fi features that are enabled through access to in-car technology like microphones, navigation systems, and head unit data. It also integrates seamlessly with all head unit functions, extending the user’s Personi-Fi preferences to audio controls and audio sources including AM/FM, Satellite Radio, CD, USB and streaming sources. Personi-Fi leverages OTA updates, allowing for custom audio features to be developed, updated and deployed to OEM vehicles running the Personi-fi embedded app. In-vehicle demonstrations are available at CES.
HARMAN at CES
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HARMAN (harman.com) designs and engineers connected products and solutions for automakers, consumers, and enterprises worldwide, including connected car systems, audio and visual products, enterprise automation solutions; and services supporting the Internet of Things. With leading brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®, HARMAN is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform around the world. More than 50 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and connected car systems. Our software services power billions of mobile devices and systems that are connected, integrated and secure across all platforms, from work and home to car and mobile. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 30,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. In March 2017, HARMAN became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.