Automotive Electronics Magazine recently published an article about CASE and Expectations of Transparent Touch Display based on their interview with Petri Schroderus, the president of Lumineq Oy. According to the author Mr. Sang Min Han, a senior editor from AEM, LUMINEQ transparent display caught his attention because of the news about the 600km/h maglev train.
In July, China debut the world's fastest ground transportation full of futurist technologies, including dimmable cabin windows controlled by the touch buttons on the window glass. Mr Han considered this type of smart windows a great application in the automobile industry as well. By following the source of the technology, he found Mr. Schroderus and learned more about the possibilities transparent displays unleash.
Please introduce LUMINEQ. While investigating Beneq, I thought that the technical depth of LUMINEQ would be significant. What technical and market background did Lumineq brand start with?
LUMINEQ transparent displays are based on Thin Film ElectroLuminescent (TFEL) technology, which has already been known for decades. The development and manufacturing of TFEL displays started in the 1980s by Lohja Oy in Espoo, Finland, under the Finlux brand. The business was sold to Planar systems in 1992 and then to Beneq in 2012. Beneq continued to develop TFEL technology under the LUMINEQ brand and introduced a transparent variant of the technology.
I am curious about your career and experience. How do you use your experience in ABB in LUMINEQ?
I spent the first two decades of my professional career with ABB, a global multi-Billion technology company. I was part of the frequency converter, or in short Drives -business within ABB (https://new.abb.com/drives). I mostly worked in the innovation process, technology, and product development. Starting from the technical design tasks, I advanced to more managerial positions within the organization. I think the primary benefit from my experience from ABB is in new product creation, how to combine all the needed disciplines; technology development & verification, manufacturing, sourcing, sales, and marketing into new viable business.
It's the era of connected cars. Why do you need glass-in-display or glass-touch technology when everything is connected to a smartphone?
Smartphone connectivity is here to stay, but a smartphone is not the best place to display critical information especially to the driver who is focused on the road and is not hands-free. LUMINEQ in-glass display technology can turn the large glass surfaces into an information window and allow bi-directional information flow for multiple parties in traffic, including the driver, passengers, and other road users. https://www.lumineq.com/applications/automotive
Moreover, our in-glass touch technology takes windows into active HMI use, which is intuitive, easy to use, and physically available. What if your connected smartphone got lost, ran out of battery, or froze for a moment? In many cases a physical HMI is still more secure and preferred. In-glass touch displays create a huge opportunity for vehicle manufacturers to differentiate their products and wow the customers.
Can't we just use the traditional HMI? Luxurious experiences are not all about the value of new technologies, right? What does CASE mean to LUMINEQ?
Typically, it is very challenging for new suppliers to enter the automotive market. The emerging CASE market however is opening up opportunities for new players. LUMINEQ uses this window of opportunity to introduce new technology to satisfy the automotive market's unique needs within the CASE domain. Typical applications we are involved with:
- Connected – Visualizing communication between vehicles
- Autonomous- Bi-directional communication to all road users
- Shared – Touchscreen keypad display for entry
- Electric – Charge status display
What requirements and technical challenges have been overcome in putting glass, dimming, display, and touch into car glass? What is core technologies and Competitiveness?
Combining display and touch is straightforward, since we implement both on the same substrate & plane. In-cell touch is a significant benefit of our solution. Integrating touch display, dimming and larger glass areas is done by glass laminators. Our competitive edge is the TFEL touch display inorganic technology, which is very robust, including wide temperature tolerance, surviving high temp autoclave process. Other benefits include features like UV-, shock and vibration tolerance.
Car makers consider reference and proof of concept very important. Please introduce the main reference.
We have multiple ongoing projects. Due to the nature of business, understandably, customers want to do this type of technology leap development under NDAs. Therefore, there is a limited number of cases that we can publish today. Valtra (part of Agco Group) tractor HUD, Chengdu metro HUD and Maglev high speed train dimmable window control with our in-glass laminated touchscreen we can mention. We also worked with partners on some demos, such as HUD with NXP, F-150 windshield with Hyperformance Glass Products (HGP).
The head-up display introduced by LUMINEQ is a little different from the head-up display I know. What are the advantages of LUMINEQ head-up displays?
There are multiple differences. I’ll use the most known technology, projector-based, as a comparison. This is not a comprehensive list but gives a pretty good idea.
The vertical installation of our display is possible whereas the projected technology needs on an angle installation towards the driver. The space required by our display including the electronics is much smaller compared to 7-10 liters that a projector takes. The vibration doesn’t impair the clarity of our in-glass display. But with a projector-based head-up display, vibration will cause a blurry image. A projected solution requires a special windshield with extra coating while our display works with a regular windshield. Our display handles the solar load including the UV. The projector zooms out the projected image to a windshield. Sun rays -traveling into an opposite direction- will then focus into a projector and therefore special precaution is needed. The eye box with projected HUD technology is small compared to LUMINEQ almost 360-degee viewing angle. See the full report of comparison of LUMINEQ and other HUD solutions, please visit https://www.lumineq.com/transparent-display-comparison.
Brightness will be very important if the in-glass display is used outside the car. Does your product meet the requirements of the car?
The technology is capable to offer sufficient brightness for a daytime use in vehicles.
I think also the commercial vehicle market is promising. What do you think?
We completely agree. The content that needs to be displayed is changing and evolving. The charge status immediately viewable inside or outside a car, unlocking/ locking shared cars by in-glass embedded touchscreen.
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Automotive Electronics(AE) is an advanced automotive technology & policy magazine for strategist & developer. AE is focusing on mobility Electrification and digitalization.
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