New light-emitting car window to be used as display

Sekisui Chemical Co Ltd has developed a window using the “light-emitting interlayer” technology. The prototype was exhibited at Automotive World 2017 last month at Tokyo Big Sight.

Unlike head-up displays (HUDs) that project images through a windshield or combiner, it can project information on the entire windshield as well as side and rear windows and sunroof. Sekisui Chemical said it expects that it will be employed for construction applications such as bus stops by 2018 and for automotive applications thereafter.

The exhibited window was made by sandwiching an interlayer (thickness: 1mm or less) between two glass plates. The interlayer was formed by dispersing light-emitting materials. When laser light is emitted from a projector embedded in, for example, the instrument panel, the light-emitting materials in the interlayer vividly glow in response.

Sekisui Chemical’s prototype window uses a similar technology. This time, by reducing the size of the projector that emits laser light, it becomes possible to use the window as side and rear windows and sunroof. The projector is slightly larger than a cigarette package, the company said.

When information is displayed on the side and rear windows, in addition to route guidance and vehicle speed displayed on the windshield, it becomes possible to show alerts and messages for pedestrians and other vehicles. If the window is applied to the sunroof, it can be used as an interior lamp.

Sekisui Chemical also increased the number of colors that can be used to show information, enabling to show blue in addition to green. This was realized by making improvements to the light-emitting material to be mixed with the interlayer.

“We are now developing a technology to show red,” the company said.

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