German automaker BMW has revealed a 31-inch 8K resolution “Theatre Screen” for rear-seat passengers on its future cars. What’s interesting about this entertainment system is that it leverages Amazon’s Fire TV for content.
The rendering shared by BMW shows a 32:9 widescreen that pops up from the headliner. Other features include Bowers & Wilkins surround sound and 5G data compatibility. Unfortunately, the manufacturer didn’t specify which cars would get Theatre Screen. Still, the company said it would be included in “future” models.
Engadget points out that the feature would be available through the My Modes section, which first launched with the BMW iX. While the manufacturer didn’t provide pricing information, it’s safe to assume this entertainment system would be steeply-priced.
As for the built-in Fire TV, users can only stream content in 8K while not all streaming platforms would support the odd 32:9 aspect ratio. On the brighter side, rear-seat passengers can control the screen and its functionality or even tilt it to improve the view.
Amazon is also bringing Fire TV to other cars
There’s plenty to like about Theatre Screen, but it’s too early to say anything else without pricing and availability details. While including screens for rear-seat passengers is nothing new, this takes the concept to the next level. The inclusion of Fire TV suggests the screen may also support hands-free Alexa, though BMW hasn’t confirmed this.
In related news, Amazon is bringing Fire TV to other cars as well. The company announced Fire TV for Autos at CES 2022 this week, partnering with companies like Chrysler and Ford. Future customers of automobiles like the Jeep Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer, Grand Cherokee, Chrysler Pacifica, Ford Expedition, and Lincoln Navigator will have the option to include Fire TV.
Fire TV for Autos would offer an experience that users are already familiar with in their living rooms. This is part of Amazon’s goal to make its way into cars. It’s unclear if this would complement existing services like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, or replace them.
Given the wealth of content available on Amazon’s ecosystem, venturing into the automotive entertainment segment does make sense. But it could be a while until we see this plan materialize as Amazon has to get a few car manufacturers on board.