Tokyo — Sharp announced, here, that it has developed an LCD panel that will simultaneously present two different images, each of which can be viewed from either a right or left viewing angle.
The company said the technology will enable two people to use one monitor at the same time, either to watch two separate programs; to offer different viewing angles when playing video games; to allow one person to watch a TV program while the other works on a PC; or, in mobile applications, to allow the driver to view a GPS navigation map while passengers watching a video.
The new LCD technology are said to be similar to 3D screen technologies, where the right and left eye see slightly different images. With this technology the direction in which the two images are sent is wider.
The dual-image screen displays portions of each image in alternate columns of pixels, so that the odd numbered columns contain one image, and the even-numbered columns contain the other.
The screen is covered with plastic film printed with thin black vertical lines that obscure the even-numbered columns when viewed from one side, and the odd-numbered columns when viewed from the other.
Because the technology uses alternate pixel columns for different pictures, pictures are presented in lower resolution than on a conventional LCD screen.
Sharp said it would begin production of the panels at the end of July. Product details and pricing weren’t disclosed, although the company suggested the cost would be less than double the cost of a conventional LCD.
Sharp also said it has developed a similar new application for LCD screens that will allow switching off fields on the display limit the ability of nosy people from viewing PC screens from an angle.
When viewed straight on in normal use, images on the screen would be full viewable, but others looking from sides or from overhead would see a pattern that obscures the screen.
Sharp said the technology, which will be produced in July, would be ideally used for ATMs, cellphones and laptops to protect privacy.