[TMS] Mitsubishi Shows Touch-sensitive Semispherical Display

Dec 6, 2011
Satoshi Okubo, Nikkei Electronics
The "Emirai" concept car has the semispherical display on the right side of the driver's seat.
The "Emirai" concept car has the semispherical display on the right side of the driver's seat.
[Click to enlarge image]
[Click to enlarge image]
A map is shown on the semispherical display.
A map is shown on the semispherical display.
[Click to enlarge image]

Mitsubishi Electric Corp exhibited a curved automotive display at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show 2011, which opens for the public from Dec 3 to 11, 2011, in Tokyo.

In the company's booth, it exhibited a concept car equipped with two types of displays. One of the two types is a rear-projection display, and visitors can experience its operation.

The rear-projection display has a structure in which an image is projected to its semispherical screen from the back. Because the screen is combined with an optical touch sensor, it is possible to touch and scroll a map displayed on the screen and conduct search by writing characters on it by hand. Scrolling a map displayed on the semispherical screen is like spinning a globe.

Mitsubishi Electric sells rear-projection TVs using laser light sources. And it applied technologies and know-how used for those TVs to the new automotive display.

The depths of rear-projection displays are larger than those of LCD panels, etc. But the company said, "The depths of our rear-projection TVs are small because of the improvements made to their optical designs. And it is possible to reduce the sizes of automotive rear-projection displays by using the new optical designs."

According to Mitsubishi Electric, it is possible to make an LCD panel bent in one direction, but it is difficult to realize a display bent in many directions like a hemisphere without using the rear-projection method. The company considers that rear-projection types offer a high design freedom and are suited for improving usability and design.

As for the optical touch sensor of the new display, Mitsubishi Electric is now trying to add a touch sensor function inside the screen by using another method.