Dashboard displays are old – Texas Instruments’ is holographic

Last week we wrote about Mercedes, which has developed a luxurious touchscreen for use as a dashboard in cars. Now Texas Instruments has had its say on these developments at the Consumer Electronics Show in the form of a holographic instrument panel.

TI’s variant is integrated into the vehicle’s windshield, in the case of the prototype it is a car. The system uses a small projector with a volume of less than a liter. It is incorporated in the dashboard and is therefore very close to the windshield. Nevertheless, the set-up must be able to project images for which other systems need a projector of about 20 liters. The windshield uses a holographic film between the different layers of glass, called a in-plane holographic optical element.

This display type should have a relatively wide color gamut with 125% of the NTSC color gamut, and Texas Instruments mentions a brightness of a gigantic 12,000 nits and even higher. That should mean that you should be able to see the display even in bright sunlight. Nor will a large amount of projected information be distracting; if you look out through the display you will not see anything that can be read on the windshield.

Existing holographic heads-up displays often use lasers, but TI’s new system uses RGB LEDs and will therefore be cheaper to produce. Furthermore, it will entail less stringent cooling requirements and better reliability. The manufacturer does say that the time it takes your eyes to refocus increases with the holographic technique, because objects on the road are directly behind the holographic information.

At the same time, it must solve a problem that regular infotainment systems cause, namely the focus on the road. You just need to refocus, so you don’t have to move your eyes yourself. Also, the information should simply be visible with polarized sunglasses on your nose. The technology was developed in collaboration with the Scottish company Ceres Holographics.

Sources: Texas Instruments (whitepaper), (YouTube)

Source: Hardware Info Compleet by nl.hardware.info.

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