Technology company Gentex is perhaps best known for its electronically dimmable windows, but it's also the company behind the Full Display Mirror, which puts a video screen under your rear-view mirror's glass. It's now taking that technology a step further with a new version launching at its CES 2021 booth -- or it would be if the annual technology conference were being held in person this year.

Multifunction rearview mirror can replace your clunky dashcam

Gentex's new mirror-integrated digital video recorder is a rear-view mirror that can protect you after a crash and keep tabs on passengers. It's designed to replace dashcams, which are often clunky, block forward visibility and can be annoying, with their power cords seemingly always in the way. In comparison, this system is elegantly integrated into the mirror housing, so it's neat and tidy, looking no different than any other rear-view mirror. You can download files from the mirror-integrated DVR through an internal SD card or via a smartphone app.

Like dashcams, this integrated recording system can capture a variety of traffic incidents, from road scenes to wrecks, shooting video ahead of and even behind the vehicle. This is especially useful if you're blamed for causing a crash that wasn't your fault. The system can also be fitted with a range of additional features including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, audio recording capability and even an internal shock sensor, which enables it to automatically start recording if, for instance, someone backs into your vehicle while it's parked. This can help you get the perpetrator's license-plate number and press charges, because who wants to pay an insurance deductible if they don't have to?

The existing Full Display Mirror is currently available on more than 50 vehicle models around the world from eight different automakers.

When will Gentex's mirror-integrated DVR be available? Well, it actually launched last year on a utility vehicle in Japan. Given the popularity of its rear camera mirror system, you can bet this technology will quickly take off with other automakers around the world. It's just another example of how Gentex is making rear-view mirrors smarter. Gentex has additional programs in development right now and plans to add new features in the future.

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