Mathematics professor R. Andrew Hicks (Drexel University) received a U.S. patent for his redesign of the traditional side view mirror.
According to a Drexel University press release, “Hicks designed his mirror using a mathematical algorithm that precisely controls the angle of light bouncing off of the curving mirror.
“Imagine that the mirror’s surface is made of many smaller mirrors turned to different angles, like a disco ball,” said Hicks. “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.”
The design has a field of view of about 45 degrees, compared to 15 to 17 degrees of view in a flat driver’s side mirror, and while U.S. regulations dictate that cars must be produced with a flat side view mirror, Hicks has received inquiries from investors to manufacture the mirror as an aftermarket product.
CNN | Disco ball-inspired mirror gets rid of driver’s blind spot
The math professor who came up with the “wide angle substantially nondistorting mirror” says it works kind of like a mirrored disco ball — although it doesn’t look anything like one.
“Imagine that the mirror’s surface is made of many smaller mirrors turned to different angles, like a disco ball,” said R. Andrew Hicks, a Drexel University math professor.
Daily Mail | Could DISCO save motorists’ lives? Innovative car mirror inspired by glitter balls could eliminate blind spots