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Sharp Corp. and Sharp Laboratories of Europe, have developed a new LCD, which can simultaneously display different information and image content in right and left views in a single unit by directionally controlling the viewing angle of the LCD. Volume production of the device is scheduled to begin this month.

Using a number of proprietary technologies, such as a parallax barrier superimposed on an ordinary TFT LCD, the LCD sends the light from the backlight into right and left directions, making it possible to show different information and visual content on the same screen at the same time depending on the viewing angle. Controlling the viewing angle in this way allows the information or visual content to be tailored to multiple users viewing the same screen. For instance, in an in-car application, the driver's side could display a map while the passenger's side shows a DVD movie. As another example, one user can view the display as a PC screen for browsing the Internet or for editing images shot using a digital camera while at the same time another user watches video content such as a movie or a TV broadcast.

Increasingly wider viewing angles in LCDs have made possible clear, highly readable displays without loss of image quality regardless of which direction the display is viewed from, and therefore several users can view an LCD simultaneously. This has drastically boosted demand for LCD application products such as LCD TVs and monitors, notebook PCs, in-vehicle rear-seat entertainment, and mobile phones. Meanwhile, as the settings in which such devices are used continue to expand, and the information and visual content displayed on them continue to expand, a rapidly increasing need exists among a broad range of users for a single device capable of restricting the display to only the information or content users need to see.

Sharp did not indicate which products will be the first to benefit from the new dual-view LCD panels, but showcased a prototype of its 26” LCD TV that uses the unveiled technology.

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