Rearview mirror assembly with added feature modular display

  • US 6,501,387 B2
  • Filed: 11/19/2001
  • Issued: 12/31/2002
  • Est. Priority Date: 11/24/1999
  • Status: Expired due to Term
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First Claim
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1. An interior rearview mirror assembly suitable for use in a vehicle, said mirror assembly comprising:

  • a mirror case having a variable reflectance reflective element, said reflective element comprising a mirror reflector and wherein at least a region of said mirror reflector is adapted to form a light transmitting portion;

    a user actuatable interface at said mirror case;

    an information display positioned in said mirror case to the rear of said variable reflectance element, said information display comprising a light source and a display element, said light source positioned behind said display element so that light emitted by said light source impinges said display element, said display clement comprising one or more indicia established at said display element by at least one of etching, printing, and forming on a surface of said display element, wherein said light emitted by said light source when said light source is illuminated behind said display element causes said information display to display at least one indicia chosen from an alphanumeric indicia, a graphical indicia, and a symbolic indicia;

    a control for adjusting the light intensity emitted by said light source;

    wherein said display element and said light source are commonly supported in said mirror case and wherein said display element is positioned in said mirror case such that said information display is generally aligned with said light transmitting portion of said mirror reflector of said reflective element to define a display area at said reflective element;

    said assembly further including at least one light sensor, and wherein said control adjusts the light intensity emitted by said light source in accordance with a light level detected by said at least one light sensor; and

    wherein said control adjusts the light intensity emitted by said light source to provide an indicia for displaying to an occupant of the vehicle at said display area having a luminous intensity of at least about 100 candelas/sq. meter when said at least one light sensor detects an ambient light level characteristic of a daytime condition and wherein said control adjusts the light intensity emitted by said light source to provide an indicia for displaying to an occupant of the vehicle at said display area having a luminous intensity of no greater than about 50 candelas/sq. meter when said at least one light sensor detects an ambient light level characteristic of a nighttime condition.

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