BMW Unveils a 31-inch, 8K Display That Turns the Backseat Into a Movie Theater
There was plenty of new automotive tech unveiled at CES this year in Las Vegas, despite the scaled down show due to the ongoing pandemic, which prompted some automakers to switch to a virtual format, including automaker BMW. However, the automaker was still "virtually present" at CES and showed off some cool new tech during a live streamed event from Germany.
Among the highlights was BMW's unveiling of a backseat theater screen, which the automaker says will set new standards in the area of in-car entertainment. The Theater Screen offers rear passengers an entertainment experience that's comparable to a movie experience, according to BMW.
The movie theater experience is part of BMW's new personalized vehicle features called "My Mode", which offers such features as interior display art, along with ambient lighting and messaging seats to match a driver's mood to make the drive a more relaxing experience.
The 31-inch panorama display in a 32:9 format with smart TV functions offers a resolution of up to 8K.
BMW teamed up with Amazon to fully integrate its Fire TV experience within the display system. It will give rear seat passengers access to a wide variety of multimedia content. With Amazon's Fire TV built-in, passengers will be able to stream videos, listen to music, and watch downloaded programs during their journey.
The BMW Theater Screen can be controlled by touch operation or using touch pads integrated in the rear doors.
BMW says its the first vehicle integration of Amazon Fire TV with support for 4K content. It offers the highest resolution and biggest display of any in-car Fire TV experience, according to BMW. A country-specific streaming offering is also in the works for BMW customers in China.
When a passenger selects "My Mode Theater", the screen moves out of the headliner above. It's accompanied by a soundscape created by Academy Award winning Hans Zimmer.
At the same time, the roller sunblinds for the side windows and the rear window are closed and the ambient lighting in the rear of the vehicle is dimmed to create a movie theater like experience.
The ultra-wide panorama display stretches almost the entire width of the rear cabin and in height from the headliner to the backrests of the front seats.
The display also offers a zoom function, where content can be played in the 16:9, 21:9 or even in 32:9 formats. The display offers a max resolution of about 8000 × 2000 pixels, which delivers an extremely clear and detailed visual experience. Passengers are offered ultra HD quality for watching movies and can control the entertainment system using panels integrated in the door handles.
Theater-like sound is delivered via an audiophile-grade Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System.
The streaming content is delivered via a fast and reliable 5G data connection. The BMW Group is a pioneer in the implementation of the 5G technology in vehicles. The speedy communications technology made its worldwide debut in the new BMW iX. It will also be used in other models including the BMW i4 in the future.
The use of 5G offers an extremely high data bandwidth and low latency, which provides an ideal streaming experience, according to BMW.
BMW's My Mode Theater is one of many new comforts that automakers are planning to add to their vehicles. As autonomous driving technology improves, front passengers may soon be able to watch a movie in thier BMW while the vehicle's self-driving system safely handles all of the driving tasks.
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