Video mirror system suitable for use in a vehicle

  • US 8,179,236 B2
  • Filed: 04/13/2010
  • Issued: 05/15/2012
  • Est. Priority Date: 03/02/2000
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A video mirror system suitable for use in a vehicle, said video mirror system comprising:

  • an interior rearview mirror assembly, said interior rearview mirror assembly comprising a mirror casing housing a transflective electro-optic reflective element;

    said transflective electro-optic reflective element having a first substrate and a second substrate;

    said first substrate having a front surface and a rear surface;

    a transparent electrically conducting coating disposed at said rear surface of said first substrate;

    said second substrate having a front surface and a rear surface;

    a transflective reflector disposed at said second substrate, said transflective reflector comprising a metallic coating that is partially reflective of visible light and that is partially transmissive of visible light;

    an electro-optic medium disposed between said first substrate and said second substrate;

    said electro-optic medium electrically operable between a bleached state and a dimmed state that has reduced transmission to visible light;

    wherein, where said transflective reflector is disposed at said second substrate, said transflective electro-optic reflective element transmits at least about ten percent of visible light incident thereon when said electro-optic medium is in its bleached state;

    a video display device disposed in said casing rearward of said transflective reflector of said transflective electro-optic reflective element, said video display device comprising a thin film transistor liquid crystal video screen and a plurality of individual light sources operable for backlighting said video screen;

    wherein, in a vehicle equipped with said interior rearview mirror assembly and when said plurality of individual light sources operable for backlighting said video screen is not emitting visible light, the presence of said video display device rearward of said transflective reflector of said transflective electro-optic reflective element is substantially covert to the driver of the equipped vehicle when normally viewing said transflective electro-optic reflective element during normal operation of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein, in the equipped vehicle and when said plurality of individual light sources is operated to backlight said video screen, display of video images by said video display device is viewable through said transflective reflector of said transflective electro-optic reflective element by the driver of the equipped vehicle when normally viewing said transflective electro-optic reflective element during normal operation of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said plurality of individual light sources comprises a plurality of white light emitting light emitting diodes;

    wherein said plurality of white light emitting light emitting diodes is operable to generate a backlighting intensity of at least about 30,000 candelas per square meter;

    wherein the intensity of light emitted by said plurality of white light emitting light emitting diodes is variable responsive to detection of light by at least one photosensor;

    wherein said video screen is operable to display video images captured by a rear back-up camera of the equipped vehicle during a reversing maneuver of the equipped vehicle;

    wherein said interior rearview mirror assembly comprises at least one brightness enhancement film;

    wherein said interior rearview mirror assembly comprises at least one light diffuser; and

    wherein light emanating from said plurality of white light emitting light emitting diodes passes through said brightness enhancement film and said light diffuser to be incident at said transflective reflector of said second substrate.

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