Press Release Summary:
Automatic-dimming Rearview Mirror uses LCD device to show panoramic video view of objects behind vehicle in real-time. When vehicle is put into reverse, display illuminates and automatically appears through mirror's reflective surface. Image is generated by camera or cameras placed in protected area at rear of vehicle. When vehicle is put in drive, display in mirror automatically disappears.
Original Press Release:
New Rearview-Mirror-Based Camera Display Takes the Guesswork Out of Backing up
ZEELAND, Mich., Oct. 30 /-- Backing up cars, trucks and SUVs can be a dangerous task. Blind spots directly behind the vehicle can lead to accidents that result in property damage, or even injury or death to small children. To help reduce these risks, Gentex Corporation, the Zeeland, Michigan-based manufacturer of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and commercial fire protection products, has developed a backup video display in an automatic-dimming rearview mirror.
Gentex's video display mirror consists of a proprietary liquid crystal display (LCD) device that shows a panoramic video view of objects behind the vehicle in real time. When the vehicle is put in "reverse," the display illuminates and automatically appears through the rearview mirror's reflective surface to give a high resolution, bright-colored image. The image is generated by a camera or cameras placed in a protected area at the rear of the vehicle. When the vehicle is put in "drive," the display in the mirror automatically disappears. The ability to automatically have the display appear through the automatic-dimming mirror's surface is made possible by utilizing proprietary "transflective" coatings developed by Gentex Corporation.
Many of the popular high volume vehicles today have high back windows which may also be tinted.
"We're excited about this product from a safety perspective, as it should help reduce the risk of backup accidents for any vehicle, many of which involve small children playing directly behind the vehicle," said Gentex Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Fred Bauer. "It also may help to prevent vehicular damage from backing up into objects that otherwise would go undetected by the driver."
Bauer said that the Company also is excited by the convenience of the feature for attaching towable trailers for boats or RVs and utility trailers, since lining up the hitch ball to the trailer can be a challenge for even the most experienced driver.
"This makes it a piece of cake," said Bauer. "Adding to the impact is the 'WOW effect' where the image magically appears and disappears at just the right time. It's just plain cool and high tech!"
Gentex already has development programs in progress for its video display mirror with several automakers. Toyota plans to show the mirror on a Tacoma this week at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) automotive show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"The rearview mirror is the ideal location for a backup display because it allows the driver to view the display and the mirror at the same time," said Bauer. "In addition, automakers like the display in the mirror because it's quick-to-market, easy to install and service, and relatively low cost because it doesn't require them to retool dashboards or center consoles, or make the additional significant investment in another LCD or other type of display."
Gentex is best known for its automatic-dimming mirrors that sense glare from rearward approaching vehicles and automatically dim to protect driver vision. The mirrors often come with additional electronic features such as compass displays, map lights, hands-free microphones -- even miniature cameras that control your high beams.
Bauer said that the video display mirror is intended to be used as a supplemental device for drivers and does not eliminate the need to check rearview mirrors or walk around the vehicle, should conditions warrant.
"When it comes to backing up safely, nothing beats walking around the vehicle prior to moving it," added Bauer. "But the video display mirror delivers peace of mind while backing up because it provides a view directly behind the vehicle and helps you identify potential hazards in your rearward path."
About the Company
Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation (Nasdaq Global Market: GNTX) is an international company that provides high-quality products to the worldwide automotive industry and North American fire protection market. Based in Zeeland, Michigan, the Company develops, manufactures and markets interior and exterior automatic-dimming automotive rearview mirrors that utilize proprietary electrochromic technology to dim in proportion to the amount of headlight glare from trailing vehicle headlamps. Many of the mirrors are sold with advanced electronic features, and approximately 95 percent of the Company's revenues are derived from the sales of auto-dimming mirrors to nearly every major automaker in the world.