The Harman innovation team approached Perception to create a vision video, showcasing the latest developments in their cutting edge, breakthrough technology. With Harman’s expertise in audio equipment and engineering, our collaboration focused on some of their existing capabilities like directional audio and sound dampening, as well as pushing into new frontiers like haptics, automotive integrations, and voice recognition. Our team wrote, produced, directed and designed the entire One Harman short film, bringing Harman’s vision to life from start to finish.

Harman Technologies Showcase



When this showcase was being created, the technology landscape was much more bare than today’s digital society. Various companies were attempting to develop their own AI assistant, advanced automotive functions and life altering technology. Harman, however, was at the forefront of these innovations. They were pushing boundaries in research and development of new techniques and applications of their technology. Our One Harman vision video celebrates these breakthroughs through our custom created graphics.



For this project, we focused on both the technology and the user. The narrative follows an average day of one person and how it is dramatically impacted by the different technologies that Harman makes possible. These technologies are so advanced and integrate so seamlessly into the one’s lifestyle that the user doesn’t need to think about using them. Harman’s technologies are effortless, easy and incredibly innovative, leading to an unprecedented ease of life that was imperative we display. Whether through simple key word triggers, automated scans or haptic feedback, the video shows how these Harman technologies support the user in balancing her commute, work life and personal life.



As we developed the narrative for this showcase, we considered how the functions of these never before seen technologies could be visualized. We referenced examples of how the technologies’ audio functions could be visualized as it responds to user commands, or how operations could be interpreted from the perspective of the technology itself.

We also pulled references for the design language of the visualization to highlight how the technologies operate. Our inspiration came from simple digital displays with clean typography to help portray the story beats with simplicity.



Our final design language was a sleek, minimalistic UI constructed from distinct data graphics. These graphics contain recognizable iconography, such as information on flights, weather and commute time. The clean, compact UI helped develop the narrative and communicate how the technologies benefit and support the user’s day to day life. Each element was designed to be simple and easily translated, therefore it was not essential for the viewer to examine the UI in great detail to understand the story.



To apply the UI to the story and visualize how these technologies support the user, we revolved the showcase around frozen moments. As the user goes through her day, we freeze on certain footage and have our UI graphics pop up in an expanded view. They float around the user as if they exist in the same 3D space.




Throughout filming, we highlighted key moments of delight in Harman’s technologies that we wanted to emphasize. Harman’s AI assistant, provided us opportunity to visualize the powerful capabilities of artificial intelligence in a 3D space. Despite the graphics only appearing in frozen moments, we included subtle camera drifts to add extra dimension and depth as the UI arranges itself around the user and their needs.




All of the graphics within this showcase are not to be visible to the user. Our UI shows that in a fraction of a second, there are different streams of data and processes that are taking place. These processes are then communicated to the viewer simply despite all of the work that it has been completed by these groundbreaking technologies behind the scenes. Our graphics show the viewer what has gone into the seamless, advanced and invisible technology for each section of the showcase.


During the development of this video in 2016, AI assistants were a fresh concept that had yet to be perfected. Only the simplest of AI existed in day-to-day life. With Harman ahead of the game, we wanted to craft sophisticated UI that could easily represent the advanced capabilities and support possibilities of AI. Viewers can see the various streams of calendar, recent presentation files, weather, flight information and meetings all being processed to report about the user’s day, which appear in an instant after she asks for a run-down. This shows the processing speed and advanced data examination of the AI.


Our team pitched this blue-sky idea to Harman as something that would be possible to leverage in vehicles of the future. This is technology did not exist in the consumer space at the time, but was being developed in research labs. Sensors and touch points are woven into threads to form a smart fabric. In this showcase, these smart textiles are used within the armrest of the vehicle and could activate invisibly within the vehicle to be a scroll wheel, a volume control or a selector. All of these were meant to be intuitive and limit driver distraction by being placed ergonomically within the vehicle. We visualized these smart fabric concepts through delicate bumps in the armrest to show how the center console is reading touch inputs.


These mid-air haptics were array of sonic actuators that could direct various frequencies at a user's hand that allow them to "feel" an invisible control or interface. Harman partnered with UltraHaptics to develop this technology. In order to properly craft the visualization for this section, Harman provided our team with an array for our office so we could feel the types of sensations that were possible with the pad, allowing us to design for it. The subtly shifting sphere in the user’s hand mimics the sensation of the sonic actuators on the palm and fingers to give off the feeling of holding a globe.


In this scene, the car is reading facial and retinal cues to detect when a user is tired or distracted. Using cameras, sensors and scans, the technology can interpret the distraction level of the driver through longer blinks and atypical eye movements. The technology can then recommend for the user to pull off the road and rest to avoid accidents.


Automotive makers have noise dampening technology that monitor vibrations of the frame and materials of the car. We conceptualized the idea of a sound curtain that could dampen exterior noises around the vehicle. The showcase demonstrates the loud volume of a nearby truck. This truck has a certain frequency, and we visualize how Harman’s technology can distribute an inverse frequency to cancel out the noise.

Harman’s technology is also capable of generating new ambience to assist in the exterior cancelation. However, for the purpose of safety, the AI assistant can detect an approaching ambulance and reduce the user’s soundscape. This helps her to hear the emergency vehicle through the din and safely get out of the way to allow it to pass.


With flares of UI and scans reminiscent of holograms, we interpreted how projector headlights can change colors utilize sensors to detect and illuminate an oncoming path. These headlights show hazards and can assist way-finding in an unfamiliar and potentially unpaved environment.


At the end of our showcase, the user activates these drones that utilize directional speakers, noise cancellation and lighting. The drones’ lights can change color and point a spotlight on the campsite while the directional speakers can play music exclusively for the user’s campsite without causing noise pollution for other gatherings in the park.



In this mini film, our team visualized the operations of seven different cutting edge technologies through graphic simplicity and narrative storytelling, demonstrating Harman’s groundbreaking developments. We are honored to have crafted this entire showcase for Harman, premiering the next generation of innovative technology.