Mercedes Develops Split-Screen Nav System

Posted: December 11, 2008

Attention, wealthy shoppers: Is Buffy too gin-soaked to be tolerable? Is Chadwick Hitchens Chesterson Smythe the IV wearing his cravat too tight for simulating conversation? Do you want to limit your interactions with your family?  Have we got a gadget for you! Mercedes-Benz has developed a device that allows the two people travelling in the front seats of an S-Class sedan to passive-aggressively ignore one another more effectively, with entertainment to boot!

Edmunds Inside Line explains, "Mercedes-Benz said Wednesday it will roll out its new Splitview technology on the S-Class in the summer of 2009. The technology allows the driver and front passenger to watch different programs, such as the navigation system and a DVD, on the same screen at the same time."  In a statement, M-B explains, "A filter masking the display divides this mixed image in such a way that depending on the seating position, only the pixels making up one or the other image can be seen.  As a result, the driver and front passenger can view different programs on the same screen at the same time."

Autoblog adds, "The front passenger can also choose to listen to the movie with high-end headphones," blocking out their ride companion completely, "or the soundtrack can be played through the car's speakers."

The U.K.'s Inquirer complains, "You'd have to keep your head at a permanent 45 degree angle to focus. If you happened to be that desperate to watch a movie, then surely an Ipod or laptop would do the trick. So the whole scheme seems a little pointless."

It may be pointless, but it won't be an option limited to Mercedes buyers for long.  Hyundai has reportedly been working on a similar device.  We're just wondering how long it will take someone to hack the system so that the driver can watch the movie instead of the road.

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