CEATEC 2012 Provides Insight into the Future of Car Displays

Filed under: Display Daily,Flat Panel,Mobile,Mobile Display Report |
Chris Chinnock

Automotive –

Last week, my colleague Norbert Hildebrand noted in his column that Car Displays are Defining the Driving Experience at the Paris Motor Show.   I am at the CEATEC show in Makuhari Messe, Japan, and have also been struck with the novel and plentiful car displays at this event.  Therefore, let’s continue the theme and provide some more details.

Alps Electric offered up a rather exciting car cockpit concept.  Naturally, the cockpit is dominated by a very large display in the center of the console, plus an additional one in front of the driver.  Built into the steering wheel is an eye tracking sensor to monitor the driver.  This offers lot of interesting possibilities, but the most obvious is the ability to sense when the driver is getting sleepy or has fallen asleep.  The seat has sensors to monitor the blood pressure of the driver and the heart rate.  All of these sensors help to understand the condition of the driver and take additional steps if warranted.

Alps Concept Auto Cockpit at CEATEC 2012

Alps Concept Auto Cockpit at CEATEC 2012

There is also a device that Alps calls the Multi-Modal Commander.  This integrates an infrared sensor looking at the area between the seats, with a capacitive touch sensor located on a ball-like device between the seats.  This system can recognize gestures the driver makes to control various options like adjusting the volume or AC.

Finally, there is a gear shift lever that can morph to be an automatic or a manual shift control, complete with haptic feedback.

Meanwhile, Kyocera was showing several interesting displays such as a 7-inch round display that is already in the GM Cadillac and a 3.3-inch display embedded in the rear view mirror.  Perhaps the most innovative was a 7-inch display that added four piezoelectric sensors in back of the display.  This allows the driver to touch the display to control a function, but the display actually deflects and feels very much like a mechanical control.

We were likewise impressed with the Futaba booth and their range of OLED and Head-up displays.  For example, two flexible OLED displays were being showcased.  One was a 3.5-inch device with 256×64 RGB pixels that has a banner ad aspect ratio.  The other is a 1.3-inch 128×128 RGB device.

Both these devices are flexible versions of glass OLED displays the company already makes.  These flexible displays use polymer substrates, which are susceptible to allowing moisture to penetrate over time and degrade the display.  Futaba says they solved this problem by adding a desiccant in the display to absorb anything harmful.  As a result, they now rate the time to half brightness the same as their glass counterparts (10K hours for automotive and 30K hours for consumer).

Futaba also showed three Head-up Displays: a high brightness version with 32,000 nits of brightness, a large area (135x33mm) color display with 19,000 nits, and a third smaller-area color device.  They all looked really good.

There is lot’s more to report from the show.  Stay tuned for more articles and videos. –Chris Chinnock

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