In the future, if BMW has its way, its cars will come with massive 31-inch 8K screens that turn your travel time into an experience akin to sitting in a home movie theatre.
The company revealed its new "Theatre Screen" concept at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Wednesday, an ultra-wide display that extends out of the car's headliner thanks to two articulated rails and a "sophisticated rotary movement", BMW said in a press release.
At 31 inches, the 32:9 aspect ratio and 8000 x 2000 resolution screen takes up almost the entire width of the car's interior. Passengers can view a movie in 4K at a 16:9 aspect ratio, with the rest of the screen used to display other information. An integrated Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System "delivers an extremely high-end and multifaceted sound experience," according to BMW.
BMW's new screen concept delivers what looks like one of the most immersive in-car experiences we've ever seen, though Tesla cars do allow passengers to play games such as Cuphead and even The Witcher 3. There's no word in BMW's press release on whether its Theatre Screen could double up as an impressive gaming rig. Perhaps Tesla's biggest competitor in that regard will be PlayStation-developer Sony, which just announced its goal to enter the EV race with its Vision S SUV prototype.
A Fire TV-equipped car
The Theatre Screen uses Amazon Fire TV with a 5G mobile connection that allows users to stream content. BMW's press images, for example, show that one could play Amazon's new pretender to the 'Game of Thrones' throne 'Wheel of Time' while at the wheel. In order to enhance the overall experience, when the screen is out, retractable sunshades are lowered to cover the side and rear windows of the vehicle, keeping the interior dark to help prevent light from reflecting off the screen.
And what of the poor driver, you might ask? The one who's taking the inert moviegoers from point A to point B while having to keep a constant eye on the road. Though such a large screen will inevitably block a rearview mirror, it is designed for cars that come with rear-facing cameras, meaning the driver would still have visibility via a small LCD screen. Still, they might have to suffer through constant FOMO (fear of missing out) as the surround sound blares out cinema-worthy experiences that are purposefully kept just of their line of sight. It is worth pointing out though that BMW hasn't revealed any sort of release date for the Theatre Screen. That's probably because it will likely be a feature of future cars with higher levels of autonomy than are currently achievable today.