Sharp has begun mass production of a new LCD (liquid crystal display) that can simultaneously display different information depending on which direction the screen is being viewed from, the company said Thursday during a news conference at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin. The Japanese manufacturer also named its first customer: General Motors.
Adam Opel, the German arm of the U.S. car manufacturer, plans to test the dual-view display in its Vectra Caravan model, according to Michael Kurpies, director of marketing at Sharp's German subsidiary.
The plan at Opel is to use the left side of the screen as a navigation system for the driver and the right side as an in-car entertainment center to show DVD movies.
The new LCD, which is on display at Sharp's booth, uses a number of proprietary technologies. One of them is a means to superimpose a so-called "parallax barrier" on an ordinary TFT (thin-film transistor) LCD. This and the other technologies enable the dual-view system to send light from the backlight into right and left directions, making it possible to show different visual content on the same screen depending on the angle.
Sharp sees the new dual-view LCD finding applications in other areas, such as PCs.
At the IFA show, the Japanese manufacturer also unveiled a 4GB hard disc MP3 player. The product, with the less-than enlightening name HR-MB35, measures 57 millimeters by 106 mm by 17 mm, supports MPC, WMA and WAV files and promises 18 hours of playback from one charge.
The IFA (Internationale Funkausstellung) will run in Berlin through Sept. 7.