Samsung dreams of a car dashboard that lets you remotely control the refrigerator back home.
Only a few days ago, Chinese car maker Byton tossed another screen into its all-electric SUV M-Byte, whose dashboard is already covered with numerous infotainment screens. Samsung is showing off a similar concept at CES this year. Collaborating with Harman, the Korean electronics company showcased the Digital Cockpit platform, a connected solution that provides infotainment and IoT services on an array of dashboard-mounted screens.
In the demo, Samsung shows a car dashboard with three key displays for occupants sitting in the front seats. The first is the Cluster Display, a 12.3-inch screen that acts as the driver's instrument cluster. It provides everyday driving information like vehicle speed and fuel reading as well as music and navigation. The views available on it can be customised to show what's important to the driver. For example, the speedometer can be minimised to get a larger view of the weather information window.
The second display is the Central Information Display (CID), an ultra-wide height-adjustable 28-inch QLED screen for infotainment. It extends all the way to the passenger's side so they can view their own content independently without interfering with the driver's information. The third and the last display is the Control Display, a vertically mounted 12.4-inch curved OLED screen running along the centre console of the dashboard for controlling in-vehicle settings like air conditioning and ambient lighting. It comes with three configurable knobs. The entire system can be controlled by touch input or using Samsung's voice assistant Bixby. For example, saying, "make the screen go down" will lower the Control Display.
Using the combined power of SmartThings and Bixby, the Digital Cockpit platform is capable of controlling home appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators remotely from the car. What's more, it ditches traditional rear-view mirrors for its proprietary vision system. In the place of wing mirrors are cameras that detect objects in their way and alert the driver. The windscreen-mounted rear-view mirror is not a mirror but a display that shows feed from multiple cameras. One thing's for sure: Samsung's dream of autonomy in cars definitely involves a lot of screens.
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