Hicks’ patented rear view mirror increases the field of view from the 16 degrees, of a conventional mirror, to 45 degrees, without incurring any sort of distortion.
Commenting on his invention, which is partly inspired by the classic disco mirror ball, Hicks noted:
“Imagine that the mirror’s surface is made of many smaller mirrors turned to different angles, like a disco ball. The algorithm is a set of calculations to manipulate the direction of each face of the metaphorical disco ball so that each ray of light bouncing off the mirror shows the driver a wide, but not-too-distorted, picture of the scene behind him.”
Incredibly, at present, US car manufacturers are unable to benefit from Hicks’ inventions. A federal law bans the use of curved mirrors on the driver’s side of American motor vehicles (the technology is fine for passenger’s side). However, the product is expected to be sold as a post-sale, consumer offering.
Hicks’ invention is a severe threat to the emerging market for high-tech cameras and sensor-based blind-spot systems currently on sale.