Sharp has developed an LCD (liquid crystal display) screen that can display three full-screen images simultaneously, depending on where the viewer sits.

Viewers to the left, right and in front of the screen all see a different image, thanks to a parallax barrier in front of the screen that splits the light output three ways, the company said today. Its development follows Sharp's demonstration last year of an LCD panel that can show two full-screen images simultaneously.

Those screens, branded 'dual-view' by Sharp, can already be found in some commercial products such as car navigation systems and mobile phones. In the navigation systems they allow a driver to look at a map while the passenger watches a DVD movie. On mobile phones, a variation on the technology allows the user to see the screen from in front of it, while those nearby cannot see the screen from the side. It can be useful in a crowded area such as a commuter train, to guard against prying eyes.

Unlike the unveiling of the dual-view screens last year, Sharp did not demonstrate the new screens on Wednesday or say when they would be available.

Both screens were developed by Sharp and it's UK-based unit, Sharp Laboratories of Europe.