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Sharp to Mass Produce World's First LCD to Simultaneously Display Different
Information in Right and Left Viewing Directions

OSAKA, Japan --(Business Wire)-- July 15, 2005 Sharp Corporation and Sharp Laboratories of Europe, Ltd. 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. This feature makes it possible to provide information and content tailored to specific users depending on the angle at which they view the screen. Volume production of the LCD will begin in July 2005, marking the introduction of the world's first practical application of this technology.(1)

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.

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. This ability to enjoy two functions in a single unit in full-screen size will contribute to achieving a full-fledged convergence of digital home electronics A/V and IT. -0-

Name         Two-way viewing-angle LCD (Controlled viewing-angle LCD)
Features     -- Enables simultaneous display of different information
              and visual content depending on whether viewed from the
              right or left direction. A clear, readable display is
              possible with no intermingling of the respective display
             -- The LCD can function normally by displaying the same
              content on the (A) and (B) screen views.
Theory of    Superimposing a parallax barrier on a TFT LCD to cause
 operation    the light from the backlight to separate into right and
              left directions makes possible a display in which the
              view differs depending on the angle at which the screen
              is viewed.
Envisioned   -- "LCD multimedia monitor" -- Display a TV broadcast on
 application  the right screen, while displaying an Internet browser
 scenarios    screen on the left screen.
             -- "Professional monitor" -- Display sales offer
              information to clients on one side while revealing
              internal data to sales personnel on the other.
             -- "Advertisement monitor" -- A passerby who comes from
              right direction can see advertisement (A), and a
              passerby who comes from left direction can see
              advertisement (B). The LCD enables the simultaneous
              display of two different advertisements and makes more
              effective use of LCD placements.

(1) As of July 14, 2005; based on Sharp research.

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