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Gentex (NASDAQGNTX) is a company specializing in fire protection and automotive products based in Zeeland, Michigan, USA.


Fire protection

Gentex was founded in 1974 by Fred Bauer as a manufacturer of fire protection products. The company created the first dual-sensor photoelectric smoke detector, considered to be less prone to false alarms, while still quickly detecting smoldering fires. In the early 1990's, Gentex introduced a smoke detector equipped with a strobe light designed to alert the hearing impaired. Today, Gentex manufactures a complete line of photoelectric detectors for fire alarm systems, standalone, and interconnect systems. Gentex also manufactures it's Commander series horn/strobes, along with other notification appliances including speaker/strobes, mini-horns, bells, and weatherproof devices.



Automatic interior mirror

Gentex first introduced a rear-view mirror that automatically adjusted to glare conditions in 1982.

Auto-dimming mirrors


A Gentex auto-dimming car mirror.

Gentex introduced an automatic dimming mirror based on electrochromics in 1987. The reduction of glare eliminates the temporary blind spot caused by the Troxler effect after the glare source leaves the field of view.

These mirrors have forward and rearward facing sensors to measure the ambient light level and glare of approaching vehicles, respectively. An electrochromic gel is placed between two pieces of glass, which allows the mirror to dim in proportion to the glare level.


In 1991, exterior electrochromic mirrors were added to the Gentex product line. These mirrors operate on the same principle as the interior mirrors. Different mirror geometries were added in 1997 to accomplish various tasks, such as eliminating blind spots and offering an expanded field of view.

Additional features

  • Compass/Temperature display
  • Map light - Gentex was the first to introduce cost-effective high-intensity LED lighting into the bottom of the rear-view mirror in 1999.
  • OnStar
  • HomeLink Wireless Control System
  • Tire pressure indicator
  • SmartBeam (an automatic highbeam assistant)
  • Automotive grade microphones
  • Rear camera display (RCD) - a realtime panoramic view of the rear of the vehicle only when in reverse gear
  • Exterior mirror LED turn signals
  • Complex exterior mirror geometries


Gentex signed a contract through PPG Aerospace to deliver automatic dimming windows for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. These windows will use electrochromics to adjust the amount of light allowed through the window.

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