Dolby Atmos is coming to a car near you!

Dolby Atmos is coming to a car near you!

With the strictest list of COVID pandemic regulations that was forced on us, disrupting our normal lives in the past year, (i.e. six feet of social distancing, restrictions on indoor activities, and keeping ourselves within our “social bubble”), we now fully seem to realize how much we rely on our cars as a safe haven during these stressful times.

In a way, our car has become part of our social “bubble”, as many of our outdoor events and special activities have revolved around them. Occasions such as birthdays, graduations, even art exhibits and political events were all celebrated and performed from the safety of our cars instead of in person. Even drive-in movie theaters staged an impressive comeback.

It’s times like these when we are reminded how much time we love to spend in our cars. We treat them like a “second home”, as we always seem to find safety, reliability and comfort in them. Even with its confined space, (unless you have a trailer or a camper), it’s still our “home away from home”.

So what would make it as comfortable as being at home? For me, I would want to include an audio entertainment system where I can just sit down comfortably and listen to pure music without any other extraneous noise around me. Also, as an audiophile, I would want to have an immersive sound experience comparable to the one I have at home, as though I was sitting on my living room couch surrounded by multiple speakers, all perfectly calibrated to my Denon 7.2 channel Dolby Atmos receiver.

Now the exciting news!

At CES 2021, earlier this year, Panasonic showed off a proof-of-concept in-car system capable of playing Dolby’s immersive audio format, Dolby Atmos. After not wanting to really want to become part of the automotive business until the right moment, Panasonic found the perfect partners who shares their values and have joined forces to change the way we listen to music. According to Panasonic, “the proof-of-concept result is an impressive listening experience that features an immersive soundscape for the automotive cabin.”. The in-car system was made by Panasonic, in partnership with Klipsch and Dolby.

“Dolby Atmos Music are leading many of the innovative approaches to bringing Dolby Atmos music to the home, on-the-go and now, working with Panasonic Automotive to bring the Dolby Atmos experience to the road…we’re focused on making the cabin of your vehicle like a second home.”, says Scott Kirchner, the President of Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America.

This sounds promising to the future of car owners who want to make their car their second home…given they have the car to equip the system.

However, there was no mention of Panasonic releasing this as a consumer product…


A few months after the CES announcement was made by Panasonic, it didn’t take too long to notice that auto manufacturers were taking advantage of the latest in immersive audio technology.

On St. Patrick’s Day, at the South by Southwest Festival (SXSW), startup EV manufacturer, Lucid Motors showed off their Lucid Air luxury sedan and unveiled it as the first vehicle to integrate Dolby Atmos, which incorporates a 21-speaker Surreal Surround system consisting of a front, rear, side, and height speakers as part of their upcoming Lucid Air Electric Vehicle.

Yes, I did not mistype this. It has 21 speakers….not to be confused with 2.1 speakers. What is even more impressive is that the speakers are discreetly concealed into the car. There are no signs of speaker cones or grilles anywhere in the car’s interior.

This will immediately please the wife who dislikes large speakers invading the living room space in the family home.

“The Lucid immersive system is really about this further evolution of dimension and depth…we always look at the automobile is like a captive environment…short of having a sound booth at home or wearing a high end set of headphones. The automobile is really like a captive sound chamber so to be able to partner up with a technology partner like Dolby means a lot.”, states Senior VP of Design, Derek Jenkins.


When the Tesla Model S came out, CEO Elon Musk said that it is not a car but a ‘sophisticated computer on wheels’. If that’s the case, then the people at Lucid Motors can say with confidence that the Lucid Air is also not a car but a “professional recording studios on wheels”.

“We designed the Lucid Immersive Studio System to be like a recording studio. It can handle hundreds of sounds and sources simultaneously,” says Antonis Karalis, Senior Product Manager, Audio Infotainment. 

According to Lucid, “the intention is that the Lucid Air interior will be like being in a recording studio, and was tuned and perfected like that of the Capitol Records Studio C”. 

If the sound is any indication as it is in the most sophisticated Dolby theater systems, I imagine this will be quite immersive, especially with so many speakers designed specifically in a confined and intimate space where the speakers are optimally integrated and precisely positioned in the interior cabin. We won’t just hear the music, but we will feel it pass through us, as well, since the individual sounds move around the cabin.

I certainly can’t wait to hear the demo in person.

Unfortunately, it is not quite available to the public just yet. However, you can pre-order the Lucid Air for a mere $70,000 after federal tax credits, as the car goes on sale next year. Not a bad price for a “professional recording studios on wheels”.

Now with more electric vehicles hitting the road with its battery quiet and motor-less autos, it only makes sense that the cars of tomorrow come up and re-imagine the car’s sound system to take advantage of the almost noiseless environment of the interior of EV’s.

Audi and Sonos announced prior to the Lucid Air announcement, that are also teaming up together on the new Audi Q4 e-tron EV, as well. However, it does not include Dolby Atmos.

I can imagine one day after hearing the Dolby Atmos demo at a Lucid showroom that I may never want to listen to my car stereo ever again. It’ll be similar to never wanting to watch a CRT tube television after experiencing an HD for the first time.

I just may need to make a down payment on a new recording studio very soon.

Originally published on

MWC LA 2019 Lays out the Road Ahead for 5G

MWC LA 2019 Lays out the Road Ahead for 5G

August 2019 – The MWC LA Conference is once again bringing the latest technology and information on 5G, connected cars and everything wireless to the US.  The MWC LA conference is the North Amercian centered show of the industry leading cellular  MWC Barcelona conference in February. 

The Conference in LA shows off the new technologies for the ever ongoing advanced in cell phone and the associated wireless connectivity.  While the big title may be 5G, it also means connected cars, new experiences for entertainment and gaming, and security for all these connections..

For Entertainment, the long awaited higher performance for mobile games is on the way.  This will allow the cell phone and table platforms to have similar gaming graphics as console games offered just a short while back.  It also means that PC and console games can enjoy new wireless controllers and connectivity bringing a new gaming experience.

The 5G technology is also supposed to be the last piece of the puzzle to allow Virtual Reality to become the mainstream viewing environment for all gaming and content.  It has been hypothesized by several VR makers that while their sales targets have been behind for over a decade, with 5G deployment their sales will beat all expectations and replace TVs and cell phones as the primary screens in peoples lives.  This are pretty big shoes for 5G to fill.

The conference will also cover entertainment content which is about streaming media in a cellular and wireless environment.  These discussions pertain not only to being able to enjoy your favorite movie and live sports with a better quality of experience, but  also for being able to participate in high quality video conferences and intranet based video message delivery.

The conference has keynotes from many leaders including FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Executives from Verizon, Intel, US Cellular, Ericsson, Nokia and Open Table.

The 3 day event is returning to the LA Convention Center October 22-24, 2019.

E3 2019 just ahead

E3 2019 just ahead

Just few more days until the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the world’s premiere trade show for computer and video games, that is being held at the LA Convention Center. E3 will be taking place from Tuesday, June 11 till Thursday, June 13. Before the doors open for the show let get a glimpse at the state of the industry.

Based on the past 3 years of support from the hardware platforms and the software development tools – the E3 community has now returned to immersive and engaging story for their games. The capabilities of the new video cards and computers, including mobile devices, has brought a freedom to developers to be creative again rather than focusing on “will the game play on the platform”.

Games industry is the fastest growing sector of the modern entertainment industry and is part of modern culture. Today game enthusiasts expect a richer, fuller and more involving game experience. Under such demanding clientele, more dynamic and multidirectional developments of games have been created, and the pallets of emotions both in the game and experienced by the player, have been greatly increased. Production studios strive for authenticity and put meticulous attention to detail, bringing players into a new level of realism, which may include 3D technology that changes flat images to three-dimensional images and cinematic quality photo-realistic events. Today’s game has a story line, utilizes state of the art visual graphics and utilizes new, advanced form of interaction with the player. In addition there is also increased proliferation of artists in the games industry, who get to express themselves creatively and individually. The impact of the games on mass culture is unquestionable and its value is growing at a dynamic pace.  

New adventure, horror, search, RPG, and on-line games are being shown from both indie and established developers.  While only a couple major titles have big releases planned, the number of new stories and game concepts is the largest in the past several years.

These titles are also NOT just focusing on VR, they are treating that as just another platform to support and making the games for multi-platform experiences (VR and standard) in many cases. Accessories for controlling the game, walking around and being fully physically immersed in the game, new sensors, games from major publishers and companies as well new experiences from independent developers.

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