Apparently, Texas Instruments has been using that sweet TI-83 and TI-84 revenue and is funneling it back into some great R&D, like this sweet heads-up display.
If you’ve been a high school student anytime in the past 50 years (we may be stretching there) then you know the brand of calculators called Texas Instruments. It looks like they do more than entertain you with their built-in game of snake as according to CNET Roadshow on their piece on this American tech company in Texas earlier this week (Nov. 22, 2017) they also make one of the best heads-up display’s the automotive industry has ever seen.
This isn’t some new technology that came out just recently as according to Texas Instruments, Digital Light Processing, the technology at the heart of this heads-up display, was first introduced in 1987 by Texas Instrument’s own Larry Hornbeck.
Texas Instruments has a video which explains how the chip works in greater detail but basically, a tiny sensor has an array of literally millions of tiny mirrors that can be put into an on and off position presumably through a small electrical impulse. These mirrors get their instruction from a dedicated chip like the DLP3030-Q1 chipset made by TI. With the mirrors capabilities to switch on and off literally thousands of times a second with red, green, and blue light shown onto them, these very capable tiny chipsets can display a myriad of colors and patterns into whatever you want to display.
Typically, you’ll find these chipsets in digital cinema projectors but now Texas instruments have applied this same technology to the automotive industry. That probably means the HUD’s they are making have to last for thousands of hours with minimal maintenance on the part of the user.
The advantages over a standard HUD unit are pretty apparent once you see one in action. The images are brighter, crisper, and can be manipulated far more technically than you’d expect.
Ford has already implemented TI’s heads-up display in their Lincoln Continental and Navigator. Check out a demo video of what it looks like in action below. It’s basically a tiny movie screen on your windshield.
My feeling is that this technology will become so good and tied to a car’s safety system so well, it’ll be hardpressed for a manufacturer not to implement them into their vehicle.
Perhaps TI is planning a monopoly on HUD’s. Sound familiar?