Vehicular rearview mirror element having a display-on-demand display

  • US 7,543,947 B2
  • Filed: 10/06/2005
  • Issued: 06/09/2009
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/05/1994
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. A rearview mirror element suitable for use in a motor vehicle, said mirror element comprising:

  • (a) a light transmitting substrate having a visible light reflecting and visible light transmitting mirror reflector disposed on a surface thereof;

    (b) said reflecting/transmitting mirror reflector comprising at least one metal layer, said metal layer reflecting at least about 40% of visible light incident thereon and visible light transmission through said light transmitting substrate having said mirror reflector disposed on said surface thereof being greater than about 3% transmission and less than about 30% transmission;

    (c) a display-on-demand display device disposed behind a sub-region of said light transmitting substrate such that light emitted by said display device passes through both said light transmitting substrate and said metal layer of said mirror reflector when said display device is electrically powered so as to be viewable by a driver of a vehicle equipped with said rearview mirror element, said metal layer being present and uninterrupted at said sub-region of said substrate where said display device is disposed therebehind;

    (d) said display device operable to exhibit, when electrically powered and when operated in the equipped vehicle during day time driving conditions, a display luminance of at least about 60 foot lamberts to a driver of the equipped vehicle who is viewing said rearview mirror element, as measured with said display device placed behind said light transmitting substrate and emitting light through both said light transmitting substrate and said uninterrupted metal layer of said mirror reflector;

    (e) wherein, when not operated to emit light, the disposition of said display-on-demand display device to the rear of said light transmitting reflector-coated substrate is not substantially distinguishable to the driver of the equipped vehicle when viewing said mirror element;

    (f) wherein said uninterrupted metal layer present at said sub-region of said substrate has a thickness that is generally greater than about 200 angstroms and less than about 750 angstroms over the surface area of said sub-region of said substrate; and

    (g) wherein to the rear of said light transmitting substrate is rendered substantially opaque by a light absorbing element at least adjacent to said sub-region of said substrate where, and except at where, said display device is disposed therebehind.

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