Kia’s New Tech Lets Everyone Listen to Own Music In The Car…WITHOUT Headphones
It’s unlikely that everyone in the car shares the same taste in music, unless you are heading to that Red Hot Chili Peppers or Guns N’ Roses concert together (just FYI, the latter is coming to our neck of the woods—ie. Jakarta, Manila and Kuala Lumpur—in November).
Well, with Kia’s new Separated Sound Zone, parents don’t have to put up with “Baby Shark…doo doo doo doo doo doo” on repeat anymore and they don’t even have to deprive their children of what is likely to become a timeless piece of music (in the canon of annoying kid’s songs).
Screenshot from the explainer video below. You wouldn’t want to piss off the children from the Village of the Damned by not letting them listen to their favourite music.
The SSZ tech is able to create and control the acoustic fields inside the car to isolate sounds, thus being able to cancel out sounds where it needs to. There are multiple speakers in the cabin that project sounds to specific seats and are also able to neutralise sounds from one another. (Wow.) So, without needing headphones, each passenger can listen to his/her own playlist without boring/disturbing/imposing on the other people in the car. Each person can connect to the system via his/her own smartphone and listen to music and even make calls, and essentially enjoy a private sound bubble.
And because neither headphones nor physical barrier is required to isolate the sounds emitted from the system, passengers can still converse with each other…if you are one of those who are concerned that technology is increasingly isolating humans.
Certainly, Kia believes that the SSZ tech would become more important as self-driving vehicles become the way to travel. As the task of driving is left to sensors, algorithms and machines, there would be a greater need for in-car entertainment during the journey.
But we might not have to wait for self-driving vehicles to arrive before being able to enjoy the SSZ. Kia says that it has been working on the tech since 2014 and should be able to include it in production cars in a year or two.