BMW has one new in-car technology she calls Theater Screen at this year’s CES. It’s not clear when or if this huge 31-inch 32: 9 display will be made available to consumers, but BMW suggests that it can somehow be built into the ceiling of luxury cars to make the rear seats “private” Cinema lounge “to transform.”
The screen itself has an 8K resolution of around 8000 x 2000 and can display content with an aspect ratio of 16: 9, 21: 9 or 32: 9. It runs on Amazon’s Fire OS operating system, which means it should have access to most modern video streaming services and other Fire TV apps that can stream over the car’s own 5G connection. It’s a touchscreen display, and there are also small touchpad controls built into the rear doors of the car.
Theater mode naturally includes surround sound with a system consisting of over 30 Bowers & Wilkins speakers. BMW describes the sound as “4D” because it contains speakers built into the rear seats themselves so that viewers can feel the audio vibrations in more intense moments. When the screen goes down from the ceiling, BMW says: “The sun blinds for the side and rear windows are closed and the ambient lighting in the rear of the vehicle is dimmed.” To be honest, it sounds like an excellent opportunity to watch a movie.
BMW installed a working prototype of the theater screen in a car at the CES exhibition area with which BMWBlog would have a hands-on experience. The company tried to disguise the exact model of the car the system was installed in and didn’t answer any questions about its identity, however BMWBlog notes that it appears to be part of the company’s luxurious 7-series.
The company has yet to announce when the system might be available to customers or how much it might end up costing. But during the company’s CES presentation, the BMW host said the features “look very similar to what’s coming into mass production very soon.” That suggests it might come before BMW’s other big CES tech announcement Color changing E Ink Autowho characterized it as an “advanced research and design project”.