In­tel and Warner Bros. en­vi­sion en­ter­tain­ment plat­form inside pas­sen­ger com­part­ment of cars

Sunday Star - - BUSINESS -

(TNS) — En­ter­tain­ment and ad­ver­tis­ing al­ready per­vade our homes and our smart­phones. Be­fore long, they’ll be ev­ery­where in our cars — not just on the sound sys­tem and on lit­tle screens, but through­out the en­tire pas­sen­ger com­part­ment, even on the win­dows.

Brian Krzanich, chief ex­ec­u­tive at com­puter chip maker In­tel, on Wed­nes­day an­nounced a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Warner Bros. to cre­ate “im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ences” inside driver­less cars.

Speak­ing to auto in­dus­try in­sid­ers at Au­to­mo­bil­ity LA — the four-day pre­view event ahead of the Los An­ge­les Auto Show — Krzanich said the com­pa­nies will build proof-of-con­cept en­ter­tain­ment and ad­ver­tis­ing plat­forms us­ing trade­marked fic­tional char­ac­ters to demon­strate how peo­ple might oc­cupy them­selves while a ro­bot does the driv­ing.

Some­one who oth­er­wise would have been driv­ing might in­stead pre­tend to be Bat­man, Krzanich said, as an aug­mented re­al­ity sys­tem pro­jected im­ages on win­dows to make it seem like the car was zip­ping through Gotham City. In a press re­lease, In­tel said those same win­dows “will en­able pas­sen­gers to view ad­ver­tis­ing and other discovery ex­pe­ri­ences.”

As broad­band data chan­nels in cars be­come more pop­u­lar, and as hu­mans cede driv­ing du­ties to the car it­self and look for some­thing else to do, en­ter­tain­ment com­pa­nies and their sup­pli­ers are lick­ing their chops.

Ac­cord­ing to re­search firm Sta­tis­tics MRC, the global in-car en­ter­tain­ment mar­ket is pre­dicted to rocket to $33.8 bil­lion in 2020 from $14.4 bil­lion in 2016. It’s a broad mea­sure that cov­ers ev­ery­thing from video screens and sound sys­tems to broad­band con­nec­tions and sub­scrip­tion ser vices.

The In­tel-Warner aug­mented re­al­ity project is “more about imag­in­ing the fu­ture of en­ter­tain­ment than any­thing, but it def­i­nitely speaks to a fu­ture where the next high-speed in­ter­net por­tal will be in the car,” said Mike Ram­sey, an an­a­lyst at Gart­ner.

Gart­ner polled peo­ple in the U.S. and Ger­many ear­lier this year on the biggest ben­e­fits of rid­ing in driver­less cars. The top one was “be­ing able to drive with­out wor­ry­ing about driv­ing when tired.” En­ter­tain­ment came in sec­ond place, ahead of us­ing the time to catch up on work. In last place: Us­ing travel time for so­cial­iz­ing.

ILLUSTRATION PRO­VIDED BY IN­TEL

When cars go driver­less, In­tel and Warner Bros. could help you pre­tend you’re Bat­man.

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