SOURCE: Gentex Corporation

Gentex Corporation

December 17, 2014 08:00 ET

Gentex Expands New Product Offerings

Full Display Mirror, Automotive Vision Systems, and New HomeLink® Applications to Debut at CES

ZEELAND, MI--(Marketwired - Dec 17, 2014) -  When it comes to driving safety, seeing what's behind you in the rearview mirror is critical. However, current design trends are yielding vehicles with small rear windows that are often further obstructed by headrests, passengers, roof support pillars, etc. These factors can significantly hinder the mirror's rearward view. Enter Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ: GNTX) and its all-new Full Display Mirror, an intelligent rear vision system that uses a custom, externally mounted camera and mirror-integrated video display to optimize a vehicle's rearward view.

The system will be on display at the 2015 CES (Consumer Electronic Show) January 6-9 in Las Vegas. In addition, the company will demonstrate new frameless mirror designs, HomeLink® vehicle-to-home automation modules, and SmartBeam® proprietary vision systems for ADAS (advanced drivers assistance system) applications. http://ces15.mapyourshow.com/6_0/exhibitor/exhibitor-details.cfm?ExhID=T0002329

The new Gentex rear vision system consists of a hybrid Full Display Mirror and a custom, Gentex-designed camera engineered specifically for automotive vision. The mirror offers bi-modal functionality. In mirror mode, the product functions as a standard rearview mirror. During nighttime driving, digital light sensors talk to one another via a microprocessor to automatically darken the mirror when glare is detected. But with the flip of a lever, the mirror enters display mode, and a clear, bright, LCD display appears through the mirror's reflective surface, providing a wide, unobstructed rearward view.

The two modes are essential, because should the camera or display become non-operational, the product fails safe and operates as a standard mirror. The driver can also switch between modes to accommodate usage preferences for various weather conditions and driving tasks.

Automotive video for rear vision requires a camera with high dynamic range, which is the ratio between the brightest and darkest areas of a given scene. The challenge is to display the details in the darkest and brightest areas of a given scene simultaneously, without causing the display to "washout" due to bright light sources. The new Gentex camera meets this challenge in a unique way, with a proprietary CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) imager that delivers unprecedented dynamic range. The imager allows each individual camera pixel to choose its own exposure, self-adjusting so that the brightest and darkest areas of any given scene are clear and visible.

Gentex is a long-time leader in the automotive vision arena and supplies products to nearly every major automaker around the world. In 2004, the company launched SmartBeam, which uses a custom, mirror-integrated CMOS imager to automate and optimize high-beam usage. It is today the industry's leading automatic high-beam system. SmartBeam is now a family of camera products with features that include high-beam assist, dynamic forward lighting with high beams constantly on, LED matrix beam, and a variety of specific detection applications including tunnel, fog, and such ADAS functions as lane, object, and collision detection.

Gentex has long been integrating its camera systems to optimize performance by fusing with other systems on the vehicle, including lighting, radar, navigation, steering and related modules provided by other industry-leading suppliers. This enables Gentex to provide its automaker customers with a highly customizable solution that meets their unique needs and specifications.

Over the years, Gentex has also cultivated an expertise in camera styling and vehicle integration. SmartBeam cameras are typically integrated into a pod affixed to the rearview mirror, but in the case of rear vision systems, Gentex can integrate the camera into the rear spoiler or trunk lid, a roof-mounted shark-fin antenna, or the CHMSL (center high-mounted stop lamp). The cameras are ultra-lightweight, aerodynamically optimized, and can be heated and coated for better performance in adverse weather conditions.

A little over a year ago, Gentex acquired HomeLink, a vehicle-to-home automation feature, from Johnson Controls. The product consists of vehicle-integrated programmable buttons that can operate garage doors, security gates, home lighting and other radio-frequency-controlled devices. Since the acquisition, Gentex has launched Gentex OEM Accessories as an aftermarket channel, created a new long-life battery powered HomeLink module that expedites application opportunities by not requiring hardwiring, and announced HomeLink for applications outside of automotive, expanding to all-terrain, off-road, agricultural, construction, and a wide variety of other vehicles.

"Gentex is continually expanding its new product offerings," said Craig Piersma, Gentex director of marketing. "2014 was the most aggressive year in our history for new products, with the unveiling of our new fourth-generation CMOS imager camera, a new fourth-generation SmartBeam camera system, a new high dynamic range video camera, our new Full Display Mirror, new HomeLink products and market applications, and new interior mirrors with frameless designs. We look forward to presenting these products at CES."

Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ: GNTX) is a supplier of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and electronics to the automotive industry, dimmable aircraft windows for aviation markets, and fire protection products to the fire protection market. Visit the company website at www.gentex.com.

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