• Scion display directly connects music to product information
  • Chevy will send completed song to customers as a ringtone

Some would say that music is the language that spans all barriers. Manufacturers at the Chicago Auto Show are certainly hoping so, and hope to attach their message to such a unifying medium. With interactivity being a central focus at this year's show, manufacturers like Chevy and Scion are offering users a way to make some of their own songs, while also offering info about their products.

At the center of Chevrolet's music-making display is a Sonic with more speakers in the trunk than one can count. Those speakers are connected to two tables with large touch screens embedded in them. Users select what type of music they which to make on the screens, then start adding tracks to a by selecting different sections of concentric circles. Eventually, a full song develops, which gets played out of the back of the Sonic. To keep both tables from mixing into one very busy track, each one is given 30 seconds of rotating on-air time, but users can listen to their music through headphones at all times, even if they aren't on air. For added longevity, Chevy will even record your song and send it to you as a ringtone to put on your phone and bring with you.

Scion has one of the more interesting displays, also with tables featuring large displays. But alongside the screen is a set of eight cards with QR codes on them. When these cards are laid down on the table, it scans the code from underneath the screen and starts playing a different track, which you can adjust the volume of. This allows the user to make their own custom song as they go, adding or removing tracks and individually adjusting them. The coolest feature of the display is actually the way that it presents information about the car. The same cards that are used to make music can be flipped over, which then displays photos, videos, and statistics as moveable boxes that can be placed anywhere on the surface.

What it means to you: For the musically inclined, there are plenty of places at the Chicago Auto Show to practice your art. If music isn't your thing, manufacturers are making it easy to try your hand, all while telling you a little bit about their product.

author photo

Tom Cassady comes from a family that has been present in the automotive industry for generations, sowing the car enthusiast seed at a young age. When he's not tracking the industry, Tom likes to run, eat buffalo wings, play soccer and partake in the finest of brown spirits.

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