A Canadian-based optics technology company has signed a deal with a major German manufacturer to develop a 3D head-up display.
Richmond, BC’s Zecotek Photonics has signed on with an undisclosed leading manufacturer to develop the brand specific 3D HUD, along with an entertainment console. The company had announced earlier this year that it was working with several global manufacturers. Current plans call for a working concept fitted in a vehicle by the end of the 2017, assumingly in time for the Frankfurt Auto Show, given Zecotek’s partner is German.
The agreement calls for the system to be integrated into a range of vehicles, for consumers and fleets.
“The cooperation agreement with a major German automobile manufacturer is a major milestone for our Company and our 3D display program,” said Dr. A.F. Zerrouk, Chairman, President, and CEO of Zecotek Photonics Inc. “Our patented 3D display technology has significant competitive advantages over systems in operation today. It has many more views compared to your typical HUD display, which allows for new possibilities in terms of content and how information is displayed to the driver.”
The 3D technology allows the images on the HUD to be placed closer to or farther away from the driver, in a natural way, in real time. It also stops the movement of the image on the windshield as the driver moves his or her head from side to side (referred to as cross-talk).
Zerrouk claims the system is highly compatible with augmented reality and provides opportunities for realistic and safer content display. It also does not require eye-tracking because 90 views are simultaneously projected onto the viewing area (which is what gives the image its 3D qualities and allows the driver to see the left side of an object, for example, while the front passenger sees the right side). All of it was made possible through advances in flat-panel display technology.
The company enters a HUD market that is projected to grow by more than 20% by 2021, and is expected to be valued at over $1.3 billion US (up considerably from $411 million in 2015, on over 1.2 million units). The compact design is also expected to help Zecotek expand into other markets, such as laptop computers and smartphones.
“We acknowledge the potential for our 3D technology to be transferred beyond the automobile sector, to several other products in large and substantial markets,” concluded Zerrouk. “Flat screen technology has advanced to a point where they are faster and much more compact, and for this reason we expect our 3D technology to be transferred to other applications in laptop computers, instrument panels and possibly smartphones.”