Sat, Aug 24, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Hon Hai sells portion of portfolio to Google Inc

VISION INTO FUTURE:THE PURCHASE OF HEAD-mounted display technology patents is Google’s latest effort to further the development of its Google Glass product

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (鴻海精密), the world’s biggest electronics manufacturing services provider, yesterday said it has sold a portion of its patent portfolio consisting of head-mounted display technology to Google Inc.

Hon Hai said in a statement its head-mounted display technology superimposes computer-generated images onto real-world scenes.

It did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

The technology can be used in ground displays, engineering and scientific design applications, gaming and video devices as well as for training and simulation tools, the company said.

Hon Hai owns more than 5,000 patents.

The patent purchase is Google’s latest investment aimed at accelerating the development of Google Glass.

On July 22, Google signed an agreement with Tainan-based chipmaker Himax Technologies (奇景光電) to buy a 6.3 percent stake in its subsidiary, Himax Display Inc (立景光電), to help boost Himax Display’s chip capacity. The deal is expected to be completed this quarter.

Himax Display makes LCOS chips for head-mounted displays such as in Google Glass and in pico projectors.

Separately, Innolux Corp (群創光電), the nation’s top LCD panel maker, yesterday said it is developing new automotive displays, targeting the fast-growing demand primarily from luxury cars.

Innolux said its 10.25-inch cluster displays for cars uses low-temperature-polysilicon (LTP) technology and said the product has exceeded customer’s requirements.

Innolux also develops a full-color head-up display (HUD) that projects driving information directly into the driver’s line of sight, and halves the time it takes for eyes to shift focus from the road to the instruments and back, the company said.

The 1.8-inch HUD has passed qualification tests by some European customers and Innolux said it expected the product to have significant revenue contribution within two years.

Last year, Innoux shipped 9 million units of automotive displays, which counts BMW and Mercedez-Benz as its top clients.

Shen Ta-yi (沈大逸), a director at Innolux, said the company focuses on developing automotive displays as the market is growing by a double-digit percentage each year.

Innolux held a 16 percent share of global automotive display market last year, trailing behind Sharp Corp and Japan Displays Co, market researcher NPD DisplaySearch’s data showed.

In the first quarter of this year, the company shipped 3.28 million units, bringing its market share to 22.2 percent, surpassing Sharp’s 19.9 percent.

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