Toshiba Presents Automotive HD DVD Player, LCD Featuring Touch Panel

May 25, 2007
Kouji Kariatsumari, Nikkei Electronics
Automotive HD DVD player
Automotive HD DVD player
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LCD touch panel
LCD touch panel
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Toshiba Corp. has exhibited an automotive HD DVD player and a touch panel LCD at the "Automotive Engineering Exposition 2007." The company is currently co-developing the automotive HD DVD player with Alpine Electronics, Inc. with the aim of releasing a product in fiscal 2008. Toshiba demonstrated the player by actually streaming video at the show.

Meanwhile, the touch panel LCD was a prototype presented by Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co., Ltd. (TMD). TMD has integrated an optical sensor along with a transistor formed on each pixel on the panel. This technology enables the panel to detect the shadow of a finger when the panel is touched and work as a touch panel during the day. At night, the panel can sense finger touches using the backlight, which reflects when a finger touches the panel.

Compared to existing touch panels, which are coated with a transparent film, the prototyped LCD panel uses no film coating so screen luminance is not curtailed by the lower transparency and the contrast ratio is not affected due to the reflection of external light, while costs may also be reduced due to the decrease in the number of components, TMD boasted.

TMD intends to advance commercialization of the LCD panel, but there are challenges stemming from the two different methods used to recognize finger touches during the day and night. Two different software applications are required for night and day, as is a method of determining whether it is night or day and switching between sensing methods. TMD said it will address these challenges by introducing a new method that enables the panel to recognize finger touches whether it is night or day using the infrared rays that radiate from the backlight, among other measures.