Car audio and mobile multimedia specialist Alpine has developed what it describes as a solution to the problem of driver distraction from moving video images on the in-car LCD screen increasingly fitted to cars and capable of growing multimedia applications. The system, called shutter display, is a front console-mounted LCD display with an adjustable field of view (and was fitted to Jaguar's R-D6 concept being shown in Frankfurt).

In normal use, both front seat occupants can see crystal clear images on the display. But activating the system makes the display appear black to the driver, while the passenger can continue to enjoy full screen video. When the satellite navigation system is active the screen can even be split, with directions visible to the driver while the part of the screen carrying moving video is still obscured.

The system operates using a specially designed polarising LCD panel, only 2mm thick, which sits in front of a normal display. In the Jaguar R-D6 concept installation, Alpine's engineers have also incorporated a touch screen into the display for control of the car's sophisticated multimedia system.

"Shutter display is going to open up a new era of in-car multimedia," says Nick Bailey, Alpine's UK OE marketing manager. "Designers can now give the front seat passenger access to a full range of video services without compromising safety or driver information."

Shutter display is still under development at Alpine's R&D facility in Iwaki, Japan, but the company's expects the system to appear as an original equipment installation in 12 to 18 months. Alpine already provides Jaguar with the world's most advanced fully integrated mobile multimedia system which is offered as optional equipment on the new XJ.

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