Planar's Electroluminescent Displays Featured in the VMC-SmartDisplay(TM)


BEAVERTON, Ore. -- (BUSINESS WIRE)--May 20, 2008--Planar Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLNR), a worldwide leader in specialty display solutions, today announced that its electroluminescent (EL) display technology will be incorporated in the VMC-SmartDisplay(TM) developed by Seattle-based Vehicle Monitor Corporation (VMC). The VMC-SmartDisplay is designed to make it easier and faster for specialty vehicle manufacturers to graphically display the intelligence in their vehicles' data buses, to increase users' productivity and uptime. This new collaboration supports Planar's continued investment in EL specialty display technology and expands the Planar line of innovative displays for transportation market applications.

Industrial vehicles operate in harsh environments, experiencing high-duty cycle, heavy vibration and extreme temperatures. Market demands for increasing productivity requirements have pushed the adoption of vehicle messaging, automated reporting and vehicle tracking systems. When combined with the trends of rising fuel costs and more emissions regulations, vehicle designers are pushed to explore increasingly complex vehicle control systems.

The VMC-SmartDisplay(TM) will combine Planar's EL display technology, which has more than 25 years of proven durability in harsh conditions, with embedded software and a microprocessor to interface with a vehicle's data bus and analog sensors. The VMC-SmartDisplay(TM) software provides key operating, safety and maintenance information to the driver, and dispatcher in real time. The information link will help improve productivity and help drivers with logs, troubleshooting and diagnostics, maintenance scheduling, fault reporting and warranty, lube and maintenance guides, and safety checks. The module leverages scripting tools for rapid development of the user interface, adding the benefit of reducing screen development costs by 80 percent.

"The VMC-SmartDisplay is an excellent example of how EL display technology and software can be combined to display vehicle intelligence and simplify the management of valuable equipment," said Doug Barnes, general manager and vice president of Planar's industrial business unit. "This collaboration with Vehicle Monitor Corporation is a significant step to fulfilling Planar's ongoing strategy of pursuing display opportunities in the specialty transportation market and building partnerships with our customers."

Traditionally, manufacturers of commercial, industrial, mining, and off-road vehicles have been limited in their options for selecting and displaying the key information needed, from the hundreds of messages and sensor readings available on the vehicle data buses of their vehicles. These connect to critical components such as engines, transmissions, ABS brakes, driver doors, and seatbelts. Manufacturers are faced with choosing between complicated, in-house development or foregoing features requested by their customers. With the VMC-SmartDisplay(TM) featuring Planar's EL display, OEMs can enjoy the fastest, most cost-effective option to equip an industrial or commercial vehicle dashboard with industry-compliant interfaces (SAE J1708 or J1939 or CAN data bus). This will enable the specialty vehicle manufacturer to offer more features without burdening their development teams with "ground up" design work.

"Planar has been a proven partner for us," said Mike Van Schoiack, president and chief technology officer of Vehicle Monitor Corporation. "By combining the display, vehicle data bus and software expertise of both companies, we can more effectively provide an integrated solution for the challenges faced by this growing market."

Additional product highlights for Planar's EL mobile terminals with VMC-SmartDisplay(TM):

o SAE J1708, J1939, CAN and other bus protocol options

o Tools for rapid development of user interface with up to 100
different screens

o Terrestrial and extraterrestrial communication modem options

o Readable "at a glance" electroluminescent display technology

o Display life of over 100,000 hours

o Wide temperature range (-40 degrees C to +85 degrees C) with
"instant on" display capability

o Daytime brightness and nighttime dimming for comfortable

o No backlights to replace or service

Vehicle Monitor Corporation, a world-leading developer of vehicle data bus technology, has worked with Planar for over ten years on a variety of projects, including excavators, forklifts, and mining equipment, as well as the Vehicle Information Profiler for Mack Truck.

Samples of Planar's VMC-SmartDisplay(TM) are now available. Contact information for global channel partners may be found at All Planar display products are backed by the company's industry-leading service warranty. For more information, please visit

About Planar

Planar Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLNR) is a global leader of specialty display technology providing hardware and software solutions for the world's most demanding environments. Hospitals, space and military programs, utility and transportation hubs, shopping centers, banks, government agencies, businesses, and home theater enthusiasts all depend on Planar to provide superior performance when image experience is of the highest importance. Founded in 1983, Planar is headquartered in Oregon, USA, with offices, manufacturing partners, and customers worldwide. For more information, visit


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