Revolutionary shutter display on new concept car allows front seat passenger to watch video while driver views navigation information on the same screen.
For car designers, the explosion of in-car multimedia capabilities has profound safety implications, since it is essential that the driver is not distracted by moving video images while in control of the car. At the same time, in-car LCD displays have a host of potential applications for both drivers and passengers, from the display of navigation information and text messages to DVD movies or video games.
Car audio and mobile multimedia specialist Alpine has developed an innovative
solution to this increasingly important problem, revealed for the first time at
the 2003 Frankfurt International Motor Show in Jaguar’s sleek new concept
vehicle, the R-D6. The system, called shutter display, is a front
console-mounted LCD display with an adjustable field of view.
In normal use, both front seat occupants can see crystal clear images on the display. But activating the system makes the display appear black to the driver, while the passenger can continue to enjoy full screen video. When the satellite navigation system is active the screen can even be split, with directions visible to the driver while the part of the screen carrying moving video is still obscured.
The system operates using a specially designed polarising LCD panel, only 2mm thick, which sits in front of a normal display. In the Jaguar R-D6 concept installation, Alpine’s engineers have also incorporated a touch screen into the display for control of the car’s sophisticated multimedia system.
"Shutter display is going to open up a new era of in-car multimedia," says Nick Bailey, Alpine’s UK OE marketing manager. "Designers can now give the front seat passenger access to a full range of video services without compromising safety or driver information."
Shutter display is still under development at Alpine’s R&D facility in Iwaki, Japan, but the company’s expects the system to appear as an original equipment installation in 12 to 18 months. Alpine already provides Jaguar with the world’s most advanced fully integrated mobile multimedia system which is offered as optional equipment on the new XJ.