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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | Continental and Leiás 3D Lightfield Display for safety and comfort
Continental and Leiás 3D Lightfield Display for safety and comfort
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The technology company, Continental is currently developing an innovative cockpit solution, the Natural 3D Lightfield Instrument Cluster, in cooperation with Leia Inc., a leading provider of Lightfield display solutions for mobile.
Describing the new technology, an official communique from the company stated, “A stop-sign, shining red hovers in front of the screen. Rows of houses rise out of the navigation system. The vehicle manufacturer’s logo rotates in the air in front of the dashboard. With these kinds of three-dimensional effects, Continental aims to revolutionise the way displays are configured in automotive vehicles.”
Lightfield displays are the next generation of medium allowing not only the comfortable perception of 3D depth, but also the rendering of highlights, sparkles and other complex light effects. The technology enables information to be safely presented to the driver in real-time, allowing the driver´s interaction with the vehicle to become more comfortable and intuitive. It also allows passengers in the front and back seats to share the 3D experience with the driver.
The new Lightfield cockpit is an evolutionary step in the design of the human-machine interaction within automotive vehicles. Dr Frank Rabe, Head-Business Unit Instrumentation & Driver HMI at Continental speaking on development challenges, explainrd, “One of today’s greatest challenges in the automotive industry is to develop intelligent concepts for the human-machine interaction. To create solutions that enhances the driver experience and allows the driver to simply and effectively interact with the vehicle without becoming distracted from the road. The new Lightfield display does not just bring the third dimension of the highest quality into the vehicle- the innovative technology also creates a new dimension of comfort and safety. In addition, our solution provides every vehicle manufacturer the possibility to enhance the driver experience for their customers and to differentiate themselves from competitors thanks to customised scopes for design.”
David Fattal, co-founder and CEO, Leia Inc. said, “The new system is said to go into series production by 2022. On the way to automated driving, there will be more opportunities for the driver to engage in other activities such as video calling, internet browsing or watching shows and movies. The car is clearly the next frontier for mobile. To us it’s a bigger, more immersive version of a Smartphone with full 3D awareness of its environment. It’s a logical place to deploy our growing Lightfield ecosystem of immersive gaming, video streaming, social sharing, or even e-commerce.”
Visualising content on a wide display specially designed for in-car visual comfort will be much more refined and enjoyable than using one´s Smartphone. It will also offer the opportunity to leverage internal or external camera systems for video calling or augmented reality functions, a feature that the partnership intends to exploit.
Leia´s Lightfield technology used for Continental’s natural 3D display does not need a head-tracker camera – a practical and, cost-efficient advantage. Furthermore, there is yet another leap in quality of the new system in comparison with previous 3D-methods. The 3D-image produced by the Lightfield display is made up of a total of eight perspectives of the same object that subtly vary according to the point-of-view.
A glance at the Lightfield display wanders when changing the angle from every passenger position– in this way an exceptional and unique natural display of information is possible.
Kai Hohmann, Product Manager, Display Solutions, Continental said, “We have achieved completely a new level of 3D-image display. The newly developed light conductor with nanostructures is essential for the quality. We are not refracting the light; we are bending and guiding it precisely to attain the optimal 3D-effect needed. Only via this technology it is possible to meet the ever-increasing requirements for comfort and safety within the interior of the vehicle.”
Until recently, either parallax barriers or lenticular techniques were used to achieve a glasses-free 3D effect. They achieve a 3D effect through a special method of blocking or refracting light. Parallax barrier systems, in particular, offer only a single user application by requiring a head tracker system to adjust the 3D views towards the observer´s exact head position. In a similar way to a filter, they can negatively impact the perceived image quality and effectiveness of the light output in a multi-user application designed for the driver, co-driver and rear passenger. For the automotive industry, the highest quality especially for displaying information is imperative. Continental’s new 3D Lightfield application comprising Leia’s DLB™ (Diffractive Lightfield Backlighting) technology offers the next level above conventional 3D displays and enables a crystal-clear screen, even when sunlight is shining directly onto it.
The quality of the resolution as well as the look and feel of the Natural 3D Lightfield Instrument Cluster is clearly higher than that of conventional 3D-displays. This has been achieved thanks to diffractive lightfield backlighting, which is a newly developed technology, whereby light conductors with diffraction grating and nanostructures create a precise diffraction of light under the display panel– thus creating a natural 3D-effect. This light-field module can be easily integrated into commercially available displays.
Zhen Peng, co-founder and CTO, Leia Inc, said, “Leia has developed cutting-edge nano manufacturing process suitable for large scale and mass volume, which allowed the commercialisation of its technology last year. We have bridged advanced lithography onto large-scale substrate with high yield and competitive cost, leveraging experience rooted from HP and continued in-house development over the past five years.”
There are many possible applications for the new display’s Lightfield projection. Warnings from the driver assistant system will be illustrated in 3D; directions from the navigation system can be even more clearly presented; graphic display of the parking assistant – such as the 360-degree bird view assistant - will become a real eye-catcher in 3D, and the greeting by the vehicle system can be enhanced using 3D-animations so that the manufacturers logo rotates in 3D. Continental has presented the Natural 3D Instrument Cluster at the CES Asia in Shanghaic for the first time.
Natural 3D Lightfield Instrument Cluster
Parallax Barrier Systems
Driver Assistant System
3D Instrument Cluster
Diffractive Lightfield Backlighting
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