Interior rearview mirror system

  • US 9,658,727 B2
  • Filed: 06/29/2015
  • Issued: 05/23/2017
  • Est. Priority Date: 09/20/2002
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. An interior rearview mirror system suitable for use in a vehicle, said interior rearview mirror system comprising:

  • an interior rearview mirror assembly comprising a mirror casing and a transflective reflective element;

    wherein said transflective reflective element comprises a front transparent substrate and a rear transparent substrate;

    wherein said front transparent substrate is spaced apart from and is joined to said rear transparent substrate by a seal;

    wherein an electrochromic medium is disposed in a cavity established by said seal between said front transparent substrate and said rear transparent substrate;

    wherein said transflective reflective element comprises a transflective mirror reflector disposed at a surface of said rear transparent substrate;

    wherein said electrochromic medium of said transflective reflective element establishes an electrochromic active region and wherein said electrochromic medium is operable to electrically vary the reflectivity of said transflective reflective element at said electrochromic active region by applying a voltage thereto;

    a plurality of user input elements disposed outside of said electrochromic active region;

    wherein, when said interior rearview mirror assembly is normally mounted in a vehicle equipped with said interior rearview mirror system, said plurality of user input elements is disposed below said electrochromic active region;

    wherein, when said interior rearview mirror assembly is normally mounted in the equipped vehicle, individual user input elements of said plurality of user input elements are arranged generally linearly and horizontally one to another;

    wherein each of said individual user input elements comprises at least one of (i) a touch sensor and (ii) a proximity sensor;

    wherein said user input elements are illuminated by backlighting;

    wherein at least one of said individual user input elements comprises a user input element for at least one of (a) a telematics system of the equipped vehicle, (b) an HVAC system of the equipped vehicle, (c) a compass system of the equipped vehicle, (d) a navigation system of the equipped vehicle, (e) an imaging system of the equipped vehicle, (f) a communication system of the equipped vehicle, (g) an accessory system of the equipped vehicle and (h) an audio system of the equipped vehicle;

    a plurality of display elements disposed behind said transflective mirror reflector of said transflective reflective element at said electrochromic active region;

    wherein, when said interior rearview mirror assembly is normally mounted in the equipped vehicle, individual display elements of said plurality of display elements are arranged generally linearly and horizontally one to another;

    wherein each individual display element of said plurality of display elements is associated with a respective one of said user input elements;

    wherein a display element is selectively activated by activation of its respective user input element, and wherein each of said plurality of display elements, when activated, displays through said transflective mirror reflector of said transflective reflective element and through said electrochromic medium of said electrochromic active region;

    wherein each of said individual display elements and its associated respective one of said individual user input elements are located local to one another such that a cognitive relationship between actuation by a user of a respective user input element and activation of its associated display element is established; and

    wherein circuitry is disposed in said mirror casing, and wherein at least one of said user input elements is operable to provide a user input to at least one element of said circuitry, and wherein said circuitry is associated with a display device disposed behind said transflective mirror reflector of said interior rearview mirror assembly and visible through said transflective mirror reflector to the driver when displaying information, and wherein said display device comprises a video screen.

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