Vehicle mirror assembly with indicia at reflective element

  • US 7,626,749 B2
  • Filed: 05/15/2006
  • Issued: 12/01/2009
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/16/2005
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A rearview mirror system for a vehicle, said rearview mirror system comprising:

  • a rearview mirror assembly comprising an electrochromic mirror reflective element having electrically variable reflectivity between a high reflectance state and a dimmed reflectance state;

    said electrochromic mirror reflective element comprising a front substrate having a first surface and a second surface;

    said electrochromic mirror reflective element comprising a rear substrate having a third surface and a fourth surface;

    said second surface of said front substrate and said third surface of said rear substrate opposing each other in said electrochromic mirror reflective element and with an electrochromic medium disposed therebetween;

    a specularly reflecting mirror reflector established at a surface of said rear substrate, said specularly reflecting mirror reflector comprising a mirror-reflective metallic thin film established at a viewing region of said electrochromic mirror reflective element;

    a specularly reflecting indicia reflector locally established at said second surface of said front substrate to form indicia at said reflective element, said specularly reflecting indicia reflector comprising a mirror-reflective metallic thin film established at a portion of said viewing region of said electrochromic mirror reflective element, said specularly reflecting indicia reflector having a specular reflectivity of at least about 35 percent of light incident thereon; and

    wherein the specular reflectivity of said specularly reflecting indicia reflector is generally matched with the specular reflectivity of said specularly reflecting mirror reflector, and wherein said specularly reflecting indicia reflector provides a mirror-like reflection at said second surface of said front substrate so that, when said electrochromic mirror reflective element is at a high reflectance state, the specular reflectivity of light incident on said electrochromic mirror reflective element is generally sustained across said viewing region of said eletrochromic mirror reflective element, and wherein contrast between light reflecting off said specularly reflecting indicia reflector and light reflecting off said specularly reflecting mirror reflector is enhanced when said electrochromic mirror reflective element is at a dimmed reflectance state as compared to when said electrochromic mirror reflective element is at said high reflectance state, whereby, when a vehicle is equipped with said rearview mirror, the driver of the equipped vehicle who is viewing said electrochromic mirror reflective element can more readily discern said specularly reflecting indicia reflector when said electrochromic mirror reflective element is at a dimmed reflectance state than when said electrochromic mirror reflective element is at said high reflectance state.

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