New Apple Patents Cover Private Lighting and Images Projecting Side Mirrors

Apple’s autonomous vehicle development, also known as “Project Titan,” seems to go on progressing with more and more related patents published. Patently Apple and appleinsider both covered that the company has won new patents of automotive applications.

One of the new Apple patents is titled “Systems with Synchronized Windows,” describing a LCD integrated car window with adjustable transparency which enhance privacy. Apple noted in the patent that the vehicle window would include a light modulator layer such as a liquid crystal layer with polarizers that can change light transmission and reflectivity to adjust transparency.

(Image showing synchronized windows in a car; source: USPTO)

The patent also suggested that the vehicle window can interact with internal and external light source of the car while incorporates a display to deliver images. The window can also connect with smartphone and tablets to show images on the devices. The light source of the system can project images onto vehicle window as well.

In addition, the patent described internal and external light sources modulated with alternating current which can be turned on and off in high frequency which is cannot be noticed by the human eye. The alternating current controlled lighting can further improve privacy and reduce glare by ensuring that the window has a reduced transparency whenever the light source emitting. At the same time, the window is still partially transparent, because the window is dark only during portions of the alternating current modulation waveform.

The other patent proposed systems to improve vehicle side mirror functionalities which include an actuator and a sensor. The actuator will move the mirror into the extended position when the sensor, during operation of the vehicle, captures the facial feature oriented towards the mirror.

(source: USPTO)

The system also integrate side mirrors with optical elements to offer a field of view encompassing a side environment and a rear environment of the vehicle. In addition, the side mirror also involve a display system with a sensor to detect the environment and project images at a location visible to a driver.

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