With A Transmitting Property Patents (Class 359/839)
  • Publication number: 20040223239
    Abstract: A vehicular rearview mirror includes a mirror for showing thereon an image; a first housing structure made of a first material, and accommodating therein the mirror with a portion of the mirror exposed to show the image; and a second housing structure made of a second material, and disposed between and keeping in contact with the first housing structure and the exposed portion of the mirror. The second material has a flexibility higher than that of the first material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 8, 2003
    Publication date: November 11, 2004
    Applicant: EXON SCIENCE INC.
    Inventors: Wen-Wei Su, Kuei-Hung Chen
  • Patent number: 6808299
    Abstract: The luminaire comprises a reflector body (1) which has a reflecting coating (2) on its reflection side (3), and means (4) for accommodating an electric lamp on the reflection side (3). The reflection side (3) has an area (31) with a metal reflecting surface. The area (31) may have a metal sheet cover (32). The cover (32) may follow the surface of the area (31), or it may be spaced apart therefrom. The luminaire benefits from the low absorption of light by the coating (2), and from the high specular reflection of metal in the area (31) to give a high light intensity in a direction determined by the position of the area (31) with respect to a lamp accommodated by the means (4).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 26, 2004
    Assignee: Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
    Inventors: Hendrik Wijbenga, Jean Entrop
  • Patent number: 6797366
    Abstract: Multilayer polymeric films and other optical bodies are provided which is useful in making colored mirrors and polarizers. The films are characterized by a change in color as a function of viewing angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2004
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Gary B. Hanson, James M. Jonza, Andrew J. Ouderkirk, John A. Wheatley
  • Publication number: 20040174623
    Abstract: A perforated convex mirror with a non-specular concave face, being partially transparent and partially reflective, acts like a lightly silvered mirror, but it's concave face does not focus collimated light.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2004
    Publication date: September 9, 2004
    Inventor: Steve Weinreich
  • Publication number: 20040165267
    Abstract: An outer mirror includes a mirror base laterally extending from a side surface of a vehicle body, a mirror housing having an opening and attached to the mirror base, a mirror member arranged in the opening of the mirror housing with its mirror surface tiltable relative to the mirror housing, and a plate member having translucency and covering the opening of the mirror housing at a rear side of the mirror member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 11, 2003
    Publication date: August 26, 2004
    Applicant: MURAKAMI CORPORATION
    Inventors: Akiyoshi Oishi, Kazuyoshi Umeki, Yoshiaki Nagashima
  • Patent number: 6742905
    Abstract: A rearview mirror has a housing. The housing includes a front surface facing a driver's seat, a rear surface at the opposite side of the front surface. The housing has a slot for receiving a recording medium that stores predetermined data. The slot has a width, which is larger than a width of an insert potion that of the recording medium. The recording medium is inserted into the slot at an arbitrary position in the width direction of the slot. An interface performs at least one of reading of data from the recording medium and writing of data to the recording medium. The interface includes a detector, a data input/output unit and a moving mechanism. The detector detects insertion of the recording medium into the slot. The data input/output unit swaps data with the recording medium. The moving mechanism moves one of the data input/output unit and the recording medium to a position where the data input/output unit faces the recording medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2004
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai Rika Denki Seisakucho
    Inventors: Terumasa Suyama, Michimasa Ito
  • Publication number: 20040027694
    Abstract: An Adjustable Segmented Dual Function Mirror with video display (ASDFM) suitable for providing alternatively or simultaneously both a conventional reflected image and a video image under a wide range of ambient lighting condition is disclosed. The ASDFM comprises a two-dimensional connection of traditional mirror segments and dual function mirror segments. Each dual function mirror segment can be rotationally and adjustably connected to the rest of the ASDFM to achieve an optimal visually relevant image-to-ambient contrast for viewing. Alternatively, a position adjustable variable transmissivity screen, a controllable variable transmissivity film or a controllable variable reflectivity film can be included in a dual function mirror segment that is rigidly connected to the rest of the ASDFM for the same purpose. Numerous mechanical, fluid dynamical and electrical implementations are described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 6, 2002
    Publication date: February 12, 2004
    Applicant: Mediaview Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: William Lin
  • Publication number: 20040027695
    Abstract: An adjustable dual function mirror includes a plate including a smooth surface and a video display device disposed in spaced relationship to the plate, the plate and video display device being rotatable about at least one axis.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 22, 2003
    Publication date: February 12, 2004
    Inventor: William Lin
  • Patent number: 6678056
    Abstract: A retroreflector has three mutually-orthogonal reflective surfaces arranged around an optical axis. The reflective surfaces stop short of the optical axis to provide a central region of the retroreflector which transmits incident light and a peripheral region of the retroreflector which retroreflects incident light. When the reflector is used in a Jamin-type interferometer with another reflector, this enables the interferometer to be used for measuring displacement between the reflectors. In the interferometer, a projected beam is disposed between a pair of return beams and/or one of the return beams is disposed between a pair of the projected beams. This enables a first contiguous area of a face of a beam splitter to be provided with a phase-shifting coating to produce a phase quadrature relationship between a pair of interferogram beams. This simplifies the masking required when applying the coating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Inventor: Michael John Downs
  • Patent number: 6678614
    Abstract: A vehicular navigation system is provided that includes a vehicular wireless communication system that comprises a global-positioning system receiver in a vehicle, the global-positioning system receiver operable to receive data indicative of the geographic position of the vehicle from satellites external to the vehicle. The vehicular wireless communication system includes a wireless communication link between a transceiver in the vehicle and a transceiver at a site remote from the vehicle whereby wireless communication can exist between the vehicular transceiver and the remote transceiver. The vehicular wireless communication system is responsive to the request by downloading to the vehicle turn-by-turn directions generally from the current location to the destination, the turn-by-turn directions being derived from a database and a display in the vehicle, preferably at the interior rearview mirror assembly, displaying turn-by-turn instructions to the driver of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2004
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin C. McCarthy, Eugenie V. Uhlmann, Niall R. Lynam
  • Patent number: 6667095
    Abstract: Multilayer polymeric films and other optical bodies are provided. The films, which have at least three layers of different composition in the optical repeating unit, reflect light in a first portion of the spectrum while transmitting light in a second portion of the spectrum, exhibit improved reflectivities at oblique angles, and can be designed to suppress one or more higher order harmonics of the main reflection band.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2003
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: John A. Wheatley, Timothy J. Nevitt, William W. Merrill, Michael F. Weber
  • Publication number: 20030227686
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for stretching a pulse, shaping a stretched pulse, and modeling a stretched and/or shaped pulse are disclosed. An etalon comprises a port, a partially reflective surface, and a fully reflective surface. A base pulse is introduced into the etalon, and a plurality of portions of the base pulse propagating from the etalon are collected. The collected portions are then combined to generate a stretched pulse whose width is proportional to the width of the base pulse. This can be modeled by assigning a transmission factor value to each one of a plurality of taps and a reflection factor value to each one of the taps, excepting only one tap. A transport delay for is assigned to each tap to which a reflection factor value was assigned, wherein the transport delay is proportional to the width of a base pulse.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2002
    Publication date: December 11, 2003
    Inventors: James R. Wood, Pradip Mitra
  • Patent number: 6657767
    Abstract: A rearview mirror assembly of the present invention includes a circuit board disposed behind the mirror. The circuit board may be a flexible circuit board and may include an LED mounted to project light through a transparent window in the flexible circuit board and through the mirror. The flexible circuit board may function as a mirror heater and may include conductive paths for connection to the LED and/or electrodes of an electrochromic mirror. The LED may include an LED chip mounted directly on the circuit board and encapsulated thereon by an encapsulant.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy A. Bonardi, Frederick T. Bauer
  • Patent number: 6642840
    Abstract: A rearview mirror assembly having a mirror, an imaging device and a monitor is provided for a vehicle. The monitor and the mirror may be integrated in the housing to provide the driver of the vehicle with at least two fields of view simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2003
    Assignee: Lang-Mekra North Amicica, LLC
    Inventors: Heinrich Lang, Michael Witzke
  • Patent number: 6619825
    Abstract: A lamp unit having a dome-shaped translucent panel disposed in front of several light sources is provided. Opening portions corresponding to certain light sources are formed crosswise in the translucent panel. A condenser lens is provided in the rear of each opening portion in the translucent panel. The dome-shaped portion of the translucent panel is formed as a half-mirror portion, whereby five small cross-shaped translucent domes are visible when the vehicle lamp is in an off state. The light sources positioned to the rear of the opening portions and the light sources positioned to the rear of the half-mirror portions provide an unexpected luminous intensity distribution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2003
    Assignee: Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kazunori Natsume
  • Patent number: 6618147
    Abstract: Microsystems or micro-biotechnical components (1) are aligned, assembled, and dispensed onto a substrate (2). An image of a microsystem receiving region of the substrate is focused along hollow cones onto an image plane (23). The microsystem (1) is positioned within the hollow cones such that the image passes around it unaffected. A semi-transparent plate (24) permits the substrate image to pass therethrough and reflects an image of a surface of the microsystem which is facing the substrate to be reflected and pass along the same hollow conical paths to the image plane. In this manner, the images of the substrate and the micro component are superimposed. A mechanical device (11) adjusts the position of the microsystem until the images of the facing surfaces of the microsystem and the substrate are brought into preselected alignment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2003
    Assignee: Optiques et Microsystems SA
    Inventor: Jean-Michel Burry
  • Patent number: 6614579
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, a proximity switch comprises a radiation emitter for emitting radiation, at least one photosensor for detecting light levels near the radiation emitter, and an electronic circuit for energizing the radiation emitter and for receiving and processing signals from the photosensor so as to perform a specified function upon detecting an object that causes the radiation emitted from the radiation emitter to be reflected back to the photosensor. According to another embodiment, a rearview assembly for a vehicle comprises a transparent housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2003
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: John K. Roberts, Jeremy A. Fogg, Frederick T. Bauer
  • Patent number: 6613421
    Abstract: Birefringent optical films have a Brewster angle (the angle at which reflectance of p-polarized light goes to zero) which is very large or is nonexistent. This allows for the construction of multilayer mirrors and polarizers whose reflectivity for p-polarized light decreases slowly with angle of incidence, are independent of angle of incidence, or increase with angle of incidence away from the normal. As a result, mirror films with high reflectivity in two different planes of polarization for any incident direction over a wide bandwidth can be achieved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2003
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: James M. Jonza, Michael F. Weber, Andrew J. Ouderkirk, Carl A. Stover
  • Patent number: 6607278
    Abstract: An optical apparatus for producing chromatic dispersion. The apparatus includes a virtually imaged phased array (VIPA) generator, a mirror and a lens. The VIPA generator receives an input light at a respective wavelength and produces a corresponding collimated output light traveling from the VIPA generator in a direction determined by the wavelength of the input light, the output light thereby being spatially distinguishable from an output light produced for an input light at a different wavelength. The mirror has a cone shape, or a modified cone shape. The lens focuses the output light traveling from the VIPA generator onto the mirror so that the mirror reflects the output light. The reflected light is directed by the lens back to the VIPA generator. In this manner, the apparatus provides chromatic dispersion to the input light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2003
    Assignees: Fujitsu Limited, Avanex Corporation
    Inventors: Masataka Shirasaki, Simon Cao
  • Patent number: 6598982
    Abstract: An alignment device for a rearview mirror assembly of a vehicle provides a visible signal or indication to a driver of the vehicle to assist the driver in aligning the rearview mirror assembly for proper rearward and/or sideward viewing. The alignment device is adaptable for interior and exterior rearview mirror assemblies. Preferably, the alignment device includes an illumination source positioned at or near the reflective element of the rearview mirror assembly. The illumination source is actuatable to provide the visible signal during an adjustment period of the rearview mirror assembly and may be deactivated following such time period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2003
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventor: Frank A. Witt
  • Patent number: 6592230
    Abstract: The truck rearview mirror assembly of the present invention is used on a truck having a coupling status system for sensing trailer coupling status. The rearview mirror assembly includes a mirror housing adapted for mounting to a truck, a mirror disposed within the mirror housing, and a display carried by the housing. The display is coupled to the coupling status system for displaying trailer coupling status information to a driver of the truck.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2003
    Assignee: Holland Hitch Company
    Inventor: Steven C Dupay
  • Patent number: 6585382
    Abstract: An optical system having at least one switched mirror for switching and routing at least one incident beam of electromagnetic radiation. The switched mirrors are controlled by a voltage source and based upon the desired controllability of the switched mirrors and wide range of switching and or routing of an optical signal can be effected. In addition by the selective placement of components with the optical system polarization effects can be controlled with the optical system to more effectively provide for subsequent signal transmission.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: Agilent Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas W. Stone
  • Patent number: 6572233
    Abstract: A mirror includes a housing, an electrochromic mirror subassembly in the housing including front and rear transparent elements, a layer of electrochromic material associated with the front and rear transparent elements, a reflector layer associated with the rear transparent element, with a portion of the reflector layer defining an opening, and an indicia panel covering the opening and configured to form a visual display. The visual display includes a panel with a discrete number of pre-formed letters and symbols. At least one light source is positioned in the housing to pass light through the indicia panel and the opening of the mirror subassembly to selectively illuminate the visual display. The plurality of light-emitting devices being a number that is equal to or less than the discrete number. The at least one light source emits a light matched in color to the indicia panel so that a maximum of light from the at least one light source passes through the indicia panel and is visible to a vehicle driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Bradley L. Northman, John W. Carter, Frederick T. Bauer
  • Publication number: 20030095331
    Abstract: A surveillance window comprising at least one set of linear polarizer and quarter-waveplate and a reflecting surface is presented. The surveillance window appears dull and opaque to a subject, while allowing a relatively high percentage of light to be transmitted to an observer. Various enhancements including an illuminator and detector, camouflaging, fire resistance, and improvements to the opacity are also described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2002
    Publication date: May 22, 2003
    Applicant: Thales Avionics In-Flight Systems, LLC
    Inventors: Xavier Bengoechea, Francesco Finizio, Richard Grich
  • Patent number: 6558010
    Abstract: An attaching part of a reflecting mirror is fixed to a guardrail of a road. A solar cell device of a solar-powered light emitter accumulates electricity produce by sunlight of the daytime, and a light emitting diode emits light at nighttime. When a front panel is irradiated with light from a headlight of an automobile running at nighttime, the light is reflected off a diamond cut of a rear surface, in particular, then the light is reflected off the surface of an inner panel on which reflecting surface work is made, and the reflected light is irregularly reflected by the diamond cut surface, thereby functioning as a driving sign in combination with the emitted light from the light emitting diode. Dirt adhered to the front surface of the front panel peels off because of a self purification effect of titanium oxide on the front surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: Takaroku Shoji Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Noboru Takahashi
  • Patent number: 6556350
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a half mirror which transmits light from the back of a mirror body. The half mirror comprises a substrate that at least transmits light having predetermined wavelengths; a reflecting film, comprising substantially silicon of a thickness of 20 to 45 nm and being integrally formed on a surface of the substrate, for reflecting light that is made incident upon the reflecting film from the substrate side thereof and transmitting, toward the substrate side of the reflecting film at a fixed ratio, light made incident upon the reflecting film from the side opposite to the substrate side; and a protective film, which is made of a translucent material that at least transmits light having particular wavelengths, formed on the surface of the reflecting film opposite to the surface on which the substrate is formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2003
    Inventors: Junichi Nakaho, Masao Ayabe, Noriyuki Takai, Hiroshi Yoshida
  • Patent number: 6534158
    Abstract: Disclosed are articles having a color shifting film and indicia located behind the color shifting film. The indicia include at least a first and second colored portion, the first portion including a first fluorescent colorant. The second colored portion is non-fluorescent but has a color similar to that of the first portion to enhance concealment of the indicia under certain viewing conditions. At least one of the colored portions is patterned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2003
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Peng Huang, Hong Ji, Yaoqi J. Liu
  • Patent number: 6520690
    Abstract: A car door rearview mirror structure having a mirror disposed on a rear side of the main body of the rearview mirror and electrically adjustable in inclination angle. A front cover body is mated with front side of the main body and a partitioning board is disposed in the main body to separate the front cover body from the mirror. A camera lens is disposed on the surface of front side of the partitioning board. The front face of the front cover body is formed with a window in front of the camera lens with a transparent cover fitted in the window to seal the window. By means of the camera lens and through the transparent cover, the view of a dead corner on a front side of the car is transmitted to a display arranged in the car so as to ensure driving safety.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2003
    Inventor: Li-Tsan Chu
  • Patent number: 6485156
    Abstract: The subject invention pertains to materials and methods that provide a person conducting activity at the rear of a vehicle, such as when loading items into the trunk of a car or the rear of a van the opportunity to observe the area immediately to the rear and rear sides of the vehicle without turning around and facing in that direction. One embodiment concerns a mirror or other reflective material adapted for mounting inside a trunk or rear of a van to permit a user to observe behind them at the same time that they are facing toward the open trunk or van hatchback.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2002
    Inventor: Alice Marshall
  • Patent number: 6485170
    Abstract: A lamp chamber is defined by a translucent cover and a lamp body supporting a light source bulb. A translucent panel is provided within the lamp chamber. A front surface of the translucent panel is half mirror-treated. An upstanding wall portion extends in a fore-aft direction in the lamp body to surround the translucent panel. A plurality of quasi-reflector elements are formed in an inner surface of the upstanding wall portion. The half mirror portion is inclined at a predetermined angle with respect to the upstanding wall portion. When the lamp is off, a reflection of the quasi-reflector elements of the upstanding wall portion is seen in the half mirror portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2002
    Assignee: Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kazunori Natsume
  • Patent number: 6477464
    Abstract: A vehicular rearview mirror-based navigation system includes a rearview mirror system, including an interior rearview mirror assembly, having an interior reflective element and interior mirror housing for the interior reflective element. The interior rearview mirror assembly further includes a scrolling display. The scrolling display displays scrolling driver informational messages on the scrolling display. The interior rearview mirror assembly may include a global-positioning system display receiving an output from a global-positioning system receiving system and displaying turn-by-turn information to a vehicle driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2002
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin C. McCarthy, Eugenie V. Uhlmann, Niall R. Lynam
  • Patent number: 6471361
    Abstract: An optical apparatus for producing chromatic dispersion. The apparatus includes a virtually imaged phased array (VIPA) generator, a mirror and a lens. The VIPA generator receives an input light at a respective wavelength and produces a corresponding collimated output light traveling from the VIPA generator in a direction determined by the wavelength of the input light, the output light thereby being spatially distinguishable from an output light produced for an input light at a different wavelength. The mirror has a cone shape, or a modified cone shape. The lens focuses the output light traveling from the VIPA generator onto the mirror so that the mirror reflects the output light. The reflected light is directed by the lens back to the VIPA generator. In this manner, the: apparatus provides chromatic dispersion to the input light. The modified cone shape of the mirror can be designed so that the apparatus provides a uniform chromatic dispersion to light in the.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2002
    Assignees: Fujitsu Limited, Avanex Corporation
    Inventors: Masataka Shirasaki, Simon Cao
  • Patent number: 6462880
    Abstract: A bar code reader having two reading windows, i.e., a bottom window and a side window. An increased number of scanning lines are used for constituting scanning patterns for scanning bar codes, and the arrangement of the optical system is contrived to decrease the whole size of the bar code reader and, particularly, to decrease the depth of the bar code reader. A source of laser light, a splitter for splitting the laser beam emitted from the laser light source into two, a reflection mirror for transmitting one beam from the splitter to a polygon mirror, the polygon mirror which rotates to scan the incident laser beam, a mirror system for emitting the beam reflected by the polygon mirror through the reading window, and a focusing member for focusing the beam reflected by the bar code onto a detector that detects the beam reflected by the bar code, are arranged on the same line in the bar code reader. By using a concave mirror, furthermore, the beam reflected by the bar code is folded back to one detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2002
    Assignee: Fujitsu Limited
    Inventors: Masanori Ohkawa, Toshiyuki Ichikawa, Hiroshi Watanuki, Kozo Yamazaki
  • Publication number: 20020141690
    Abstract: A mirror, or an array of mirrors, for use in a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) optical device. The mirror includes a mirror substrate having a loss-reducing layer located over a first or second side thereof, and a light reflective optical layer located over the loss-reducing layer. The inventive mirror reduces undesirable Fabry-Perot interferrometric optical loss through minimizing the extent of multiple reflections within the MEMS mirror substrate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 3, 2001
    Publication date: October 3, 2002
    Inventors: Sungho Jin, Hareesh Mavoori, Roland Ryf
  • Patent number: 6441943
    Abstract: A vehicle lamp assembly includes a housing and an LED lamp carried in the housing. A signal mirror, includes a mirror; and an LED lamp. The LED lamp includes a heat extraction member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2002
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: John K. Roberts, Frederick T. Bauer, Joseph S. Stam, Timothy A. Bonardi, William L. Tonar, Robert R. Turnbull
  • Patent number: 6420800
    Abstract: An electrochromic mirror includes a housing, a rearview mirror subassembly including a reflector in the housing, and an electrical circuit with switches adapted to interact with electrical systems in the vehicle. An elongated display area is formed in a face of the housing assembly, either under, aside or above the face. Switch buttons are positioned in the display area for operating switches in the electrical circuit. A compact display is incorporated into a face of the buttons. Specifically, a center region forms a symbol. A border is formed around the center region, and a third region is formed around the border. One of the center region, the border, and the outer region is light-transmissive, and the other two regions contrast in color. A light source is positioned to direct light toward the button face.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2002
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Andrew J. LeVesque, John K. Roberts
  • Patent number: 6412959
    Abstract: A rear view mirror device of a vehicle has a mirror member disposed in front of a housing which is to be secured onto a vehicle. A displayer is disposed in the housing and disposed behind the mirror member and may be seen through the mirror member when the displayer is actuated. A circuit board is coupled to the displayer and coupled to an antenna for receiving signals from the other facilities. The housing has one or more extensions. One or more slides are slidably in the housing and biased toward the extension for clamping the housing onto a rear view mirror support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2002
    Inventor: Huan Chin Tseng
  • Patent number: 6406152
    Abstract: A vehicular electrochromic rearview mirror system includes an interior electrochromic rearview mirror assembly and at least one exterior electrochromic rearview mirror assembly. Each mirror assembly includes an electrochromic reflective element that assumes a partial reflectance level in response to a signal applied thereto. A drive circuit applies a drive signal to each of the electrochromic reflective elements. The drive circuit may include a digital controller, a master drive circuit responsive to the digital controller to apply a first drive signal to one of the electrochromic reflective elements and a slave drive circuit responsive to the digital controller to apply a second drive signal to a second of the electrochromic reflective elements. The second drive signal may be derived from the first drive signal. The drive circuit may include a digital controller and a switching power supply controlled by the digital controller to produce a drive signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2002
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: Eric J. Hoekstra, Kenneth L. Schierbeek
  • Patent number: 6407468
    Abstract: An electrochromic mirror includes housing, a rearview mirror subassembly including a reflector in the housing, and an electrical circuit with switches adapted to interact with electrical systems in the vehicle. An elongated display area is formed in a face of the housing assembly, either under, aside or above the face. Switch buttons are positioned in the display area for operating switches in the electrical circuit. Where compact display is needed along with the button, the buttons each have a visible portion with a front symbol-forming window that is light-transmissive, and further with a perimeter made of a visible material that outlines and creates a border around the symbol-forming window, and still further with an opaque outer region that contrasts to the visible material. A light source is positioned to direct light toward each window.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2002
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Andrew J. LeVesque, John K. Roberts
  • Publication number: 20020060864
    Abstract: In order to develop a rear-view mirror for a vehicle, with a reflective surface, in such a way that the rear-view mirror can firstly provide the driver of the vehicle with depth information based on a physical measurement, and is also capable of displaying further information which is important to the driver, without causing the driver to change viewing direction, it is proposed to equip the reflective surface (1) in a rear-view mirror, at least in a subarea, with a display (3) with a reflective background, the display (3) being capable of displaying text symbols and/or pictograms. In this case, the reflective surface (1), in spite of the inserted information, is intended to remain usable over virtually the entire area for depicting objects located behind the vehicle, and also to require no built-on fittings on the rear-view mirror.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 18, 2001
    Publication date: May 23, 2002
    Inventors: Rocco Mertsching, Jurgen Wolf
  • Patent number: 6390633
    Abstract: An optical apparatus for producing chromatic dispersion. The apparatus includes a virtually imaged phased array (VIPA) generator, a mirror and a lens. The VIPA generator receives an input light at a respective wavelength and produces a corresponding collimated output light traveling from the VIPA generator in a direction determined by the wavelength of the input light, the output light thereby being spatially distinguishable from an output light produced for an input light at a different wavelength. The mirror has a cone shape, or a modified cone shape. The lens focuses the output light traveling from the VIPA generator onto the mirror so that the mirror reflects the output light. The reflected light is directed by the lens back to the VIPA generator. In this manner, the apparatus provides chromatic dispersion to the input light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2002
    Assignees: Fujitsu Limited, Avanex Corporation
    Inventors: Masataka Shirasaki, Simon Cao
  • Patent number: 6381073
    Abstract: A segmented mirror with alternating reflective and transmissive surfaces and a refractive tilt place which laterally displaces two parallel beams are used as a beam spacer. A first beam is reflected by the segmented mirror and a second beam is transmitted by the segmented mirror. A third beam is refracted and laterally displaced by the tilt plate then reflected by the segmented mirror while a fourth beam is beam is refracted and laterally displaced by the tilt plate then transmitted by the segmented mirror. The segmented mirror and the refractive tilt plate closely space four parallel laser beams.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2002
    Assignee: Xerox Corporation
    Inventor: James M. Wilson
  • Publication number: 20020048094
    Abstract: An alignment device for a rearview mirror assembly of a vehicle provides a visible signal or indication to a driver of the vehicle to assist the driver in aligning the rearview mirror assembly for proper rearward and/or sideward viewing. The alignment device is adaptable for interior and exterior rearview mirror assemblies. Preferably, the alignment device includes an illumination source positioned at or near the reflective element of the rearview mirror assembly. The illumination source is actuatable to provide the visible signal during an adjustment period of the rearview mirror assembly and may be deactivated following such time period.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 1, 2001
    Publication date: April 25, 2002
    Inventor: Frank A. Witt
  • Patent number: 6375332
    Abstract: This invention relates to a decorative mirror unit and to a method of fabricating the decorative mirror unit. A decorative mirror unit comprises a mirror and at least one sheet of glass spaced in front of the mirror by spacer means, and a plurality of decorative elements applied to the glass by an adhesive means, characterized in that at least one decorative element has been applied to each surface on opposite sides of the glass by said adhesive means, said decorative elements on opposite sides of the glass aligning to conceal at least partially the adhesive means between at least one of the decorative elements and the glass.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2002
    Inventor: Ian Philip Whinney
  • Publication number: 20020039243
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a half mirror which transmits light from the back of a mirror body. The half mirror comprises a substrate that at least transmits light having predetermined wavelengths; a reflecting film, comprising substantially silicon of a thickness of 20 to 45 nm and being integrally formed on a surface of the substrate, for reflecting light that is made incident upon the reflecting film from the substrate side thereof and transmitting, toward the substrate side of the reflecting film at a fixed ratio, light made incident upon the reflecting film from the side opposite to the substrate side; and a protective film, which is made of a translucent material that at least transmits light having particular wavelengths, formed on the surface of the reflecting film opposite to the surface on which the substrate is formed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2001
    Publication date: April 4, 2002
    Inventors: Junichi Nakaho, Masao Ayabe, Noriyuki Takai, Hiroshi Yoshida
  • Patent number: 6366213
    Abstract: An interior rearview mirror assembly for use in a vehicle includes a mirror stay assembly and an interior mirror. The mirror stay assembly includes a rigid mirror stay for attachment to an interior portion of the vehicle, a support member for the interior mirror, and at least one electronic accessory. The interior mirror has a reflective mirror element housed in a mirror housing and also includes at least one electronic accessory. The electronic accessory of the mirror stay preferably shares components with the electronic accessory of the interior mirror, and/or provides circuitry for the electronic accessory of the interior mirror. The electronic accessories can be an information display, light, antenna, video device, microphone, photosensor, detector, computer, printer, circuitry of various types, or other items.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: Donnelly Corporation
    Inventors: Jonathan E. DeLine, Niall R. Lynam
  • Publication number: 20020024713
    Abstract: According to one embodiment, a proximity switch comprises a radiation emitter for emitting radiation, at least one photosensor for detecting light levels near the radiation emitter, and an electronic circuit for energizing the radiation emitter and for receiving and processing signals from the photosensor so as to perform a specified function upon detecting an object that causes the radiation emitted from the radiation emitter to be reflected back to the photosensor. According to another embodiment, a rearview assembly for a vehicle comprises a transparent housing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 6, 2001
    Publication date: February 28, 2002
    Inventors: John K. Roberts, Jeremy A. Fogg, Frederick T. Bauer
  • Publication number: 20020005999
    Abstract: An interior rearview mirror assembly provides a display system for displaying light or information to a driver of a vehicle. The display includes a refractive light directing element, which may include a prismatic display lens which refracts and directs the light of the display message downwardly and/or sidewardly toward a driver of the vehicle for improved viewing of the display message by the driver of the vehicle. The display system is mountable to a printed circuit board positioned within the case of the mirror assembly. The printed circuit board may also be connected to a pair of illumination sources positioned at a lower portion of a casing of the mirror assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 5, 2001
    Publication date: January 17, 2002
    Inventors: Barry W. Hutzel, Rick Mousseau, Darryl P. DeWind
  • Publication number: 20010055165
    Abstract: A vehicle-based wireless communication system includes an interior rearview mirror assembly having an interior mirror reflective element, a housing for the reflective element and a mirror-mounted communication system. The mirror-mounted communication system preferably includes a communication data port for short-range communication with a mobile device that is a personal accessory of an occupant of the vehicle. The communication system further includes a telecommunication link from the vehicle to an external provider of information or service. In this manner, the communication system provides connectivity between a low-power mobile device and a provider of information or service that is separate from the vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 20, 2001
    Publication date: December 27, 2001
    Inventors: Kevin C. McCarthy, Niall R. Lynam
  • Patent number: 6310729
    Abstract: A dichroic mirror comprises a transparent substrate, a dielectric multilayer structure formed thereon. The dielectric multilayer structure includes a main multilayer structure comprised of high refractive index layers and low refractive index layers formed alternately, each layer having an optical thickness of &lgr;/4 where &lgr; is the designed central wavelength, a first transmittance regulating film provided between the main multilayer structure and the transparent substrate, and a second transmittance regulating film provided on the other side of the main multilayer structure. The first and second transmittance regulating films typically have a three- or four-layer structure of intermediate refractive index layers and low refractive index layers formed alternately. The intermediate refractive index layers have a refractive index lower than but close to that of the high refractive index layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2001
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Seitoku Tsukamoto