Automotive electronics maker JVC Kenwood announced a Kenwood branded, car navigation system that incorporates a projector based Head Up Display (HUD). The MDC-737HUD mounts to the car’s rear view mirror, placing the display on a 7″ transparent screen on the driver’s side of the mirror (the HUD accommodates cars with the steering wheel on either side of the car). Displaying navigation information from a remotely mounted main unit, the HUD’s LCOS projector produces approximately 20 lumens at 1,000:1 contrast ratio from an LCOS imager and LED illumination. The information released by Kenwood identifies the technology as JVC’s D-ILA (Direct-drive Image Light Amplifer), but given their alliance with American imager manufacturer Syndiant, and that the WSVGA imager specifications closely match Syndiant’s SYL2061 LCOS imager, Syndiant is the more likely source. The system is expected to be available in mid-May 2013. Pricing was not disclosed by Kenwood, but has been estimated at US$2,500.
PMA Research has been following the progress of pico projector technology as it enters the car navigation market. MicroVision partnered with car electronics maker Pioneer for their Cyber Navi product and it has been reported that Texas Instruments (DLP) is pursuing a number of car makers and aftermarket electronics companies. Car navigation offers significant market opportunities beyond the traditional pico and personal projector form factors.