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[Click to enlarge image]

Stanley Electric Co Ltd exhibited a display that can show an image as if it is floating in the air at CEATEC Japan 2011.

An image shown on a normal display is reflected twice by using reflectors called "micro-mirror device," which measure 100 to 300μm, so that images reflected from different reflectors are combined in the air.

Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) developed the principle of this method, and Stanley developed the micro-mirror devices. The company expects that the display will be used for the displays of game consoles, the headup displays of automobiles, etc.

This time, Stanley Electric arrayed several micro-mirror devices on a panel. In a demonstration, an image displayed on the display of a mobile phone placed in a display unit was reflected on the panel and seen from the outside of the display unit (the mobile phone display could not be seen from the outside of the display unit).

An image displayed by the new panel has one viewpoint and a view angle of about 20°. It is possible to adjust the position (height) and view angle of a floating image by changing the alignment and angles of the micro-mirror devices.

To commercialize the new display, it is necessary to improve the brightness of a floating image, Stanley said. Therefore, the company is planning to increase the reflectance of the micro-mirror devices to reduce light loss and to enhance the brightness of a display that shows an original image.