Audi Invents Windscreen That Can Transform Into A Giant TV

Technology / Comments

Sci-fi is fast becoming reality.

Here at CarBuzz, we're fans of what the future of the automobile might bring from a technological sense, which is why we dedicate a fair bit of time to scouring patent offices from around the globe looking for new automotive inventions. We've come across some pretty interesting things in the past. Among these have been BMW's falcon doors, Ford's customizable headlights, and even a method of changing car color on the fly, as created by Audi. Audi is always looking to innovate, and its latest creation is something special. Just like in a science fiction film where images can be projected onto a glass surface, Audi has created a way to turn your windscreen into a cinema.

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USPTO
USPTO

Audi explains the invention as: "A display surface of a self-luminous screen element is divided into first and second display regions by a bend region. A selective shielding unit transmits light from the screen element along a preferred direction and blocks light along a blocking direction and/or deflects light from the blocking direction. When installed in a motor vehicle, the display device faces a surface region at a distance from the screen element on which a reflection of the display content displayed on the second display region is visible from a predetermined viewing point. In this case, the preferred direction of the selective shielding unit in the second display region is oriented toward the surface region, and the blocking direction in the second display region is oriented toward the predetermined viewing point."

USPTO
USPTO
USPTO
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That's all rather complicated, but it basically means that the system can project an image onto the screen via a light bar that acts as both transmitter of light towards the screen for the occupants to view images and as a barrier to unwanted light from behind the holographic "image" that could distort it. This implies that the screen could be visible even in daylight. The screen could be used for "entertainment functions and operating information of the motor vehicle." The filing indicates that a polarization filter could prevent the effect of so-called double images and also suggests that the system would be able to project various versions of the same image so that you see a clear image regardless of the angle from which you view the screen.

Audi
Audi

This self-luminous screen is bent or folded at an angle of fewer than 180 degrees for one viewing angle and over that number for another angle. Whichever angle you're viewing from, a shielding unit can block light. What this could mean is that the driver could have a much more advanced version of today's typical head-up display while the passenger could watch a film or other media on a full screen. The position of the viewer in the car would determine what that person sees, so neither the driver nor the passenger is distracted by what the other individual is watching. This could make journeys much more enjoyable for passengers and much more informative for drivers. When autonomous vehicles arrive, as foreshadowed by the likes of Audi's Grandsphere concept, all occupants could take advantage of in-car entertainment on a previously unseen scale.

If this invention is pursued, it'll likely only arrive in at least a decade, so don't expect to see it on the next Audi A8.

Audi
Audi

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