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Harman acquires German auto tech startup Apostera

Harman's digital cockpit
Harman's digital cockpit
Samsung Electronics said Friday its subsidiary Harman, the US automotive solutions maker, has acquired German auto tech startup Apostera to bolster its leadership in the burgeoning connected car technology market.

With the latest deal, Harman aims to further diversity its automotive product offerings using Apostera’s specialty in augmented reality and mixed reality software solutions.

Established in 2017, the Munich-based Apostera supplies AR solutions for automotive head-up displays and navigations that help improve car functions and driver experience overall.

“Harman is dedicated to delivering in-car experiences with the speed and flexibility of consumer technology together with the reliability and performance of automotive-grade solutions,” said Christian Sobottka, Harman’s automotive division president.

“By seamlessly blending AR with the physical environment, Apostera’s mixed reality solution furthers this goal, transforming any display in the car into a richly contextual experience.”

The Korean tech giant acquired Harman in 2017 in a deal worth $8 billion. Since the acquisition, the firm has seen stunning growth.

Despite chip shortages and logistics crisis, the firm last year posted a record 600 billion won ($500 million) in operating profits, almost double the figures before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Samsung also offered a rosy outlook for Harman that has supplied digital cockpit solutions to a slew of carmakers, including Mercedes-Benz and BMW, as in-cabin experience is expected to become a crucial part of future mobility like autonomous driving.

Harman also aims to further strengthen its leadership in automotive audio solutions. Genesis' latest luxury EV GV 60 and premium sedan G90 are equipped with high-end sound systems from Harman’s Bang & Olufesen.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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