Eyes off my screen: Apple patent outlines display tech with adjustable viewing angles


Usually, a wide viewing angle on a smartphone screen, or any screen for that matter, is generally a desirable thing. It makes the viewing experience much more comfortable as parts of the display don't distort or go black if you skew your device by an inch. But, for some situations, you really don't want your display to be visible from extreme angles — when you're chatting with your significant other while commuting, for example, or when viewing sensitive data like your bank account or company documents.

There are, in fact, “privacy screen protectors”, which severely limit visibility and only make the display's information observable if you are looking at the screen dead on. That sounds nifty, but there's the caveat that it's a physical screen protector — it's either on or off, and you need a new one if you want to put it on again.

It seems that Apple is looking into making the “privacy display” a toggle-able feature on future iPhones and iPads. The company has filed a patent (dated February 2016) that explains ways to adjust an angle-of-view feature at will.

The patent describes a display that “may” have a backlight unit, which has a “light guide” embedded in it. Said guide works in tandem with a lens array, so that the light rays and lenses can project an image in a certain direction only.

We have to imagine that this plan would have to be drastically re-drafted if Apple goes ahead and makes its displays AMOLED. Rumors are insisting that the Anniversary iPhone would have such a panel, so it's probably a matter of time before it reaches iPads and “regular” iPhones. Who knows, the tech might actually be applied to Macs only. And yeah, a patent filed definitely doesn't mean a feature is actually coming.

No images


source: USPTO via CNet

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13 Comments

1. Tipus

Posts: 869; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Nice!

5. qwertsun

Posts: 42; Member since: Dec 02, 2015

SHARP AQUOS phones have this function called " VielView" in their IGZO flagships since 2013. I'll be interested to know how Apple will implement it in their very own way :)

8. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

"Apple will implement it in their VERY OWN WAY :)" They'll use this patent at court as they sue Sharp next year

11. Bankz

Posts: 2543; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

This is just sweet.

2. Camilla81

Posts: 90; Member since: Mar 18, 2017

This would be amazing.

3. Hallyu

Posts: 790; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Apple always has big talk, but in reality it will never deliver what it emphasize. Samsung's Galaxy AMOLED still and will rule forever.

4. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

There's absolutely no fanboism there.

10. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

look, he/she has 4 likes, it must be very true

12. AVVA1

Posts: 228; Member since: Aug 01, 2017

Definitely :)

6. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

So many patents that will never see the light of day..... unless it is for court settlements that is.

7. Leo_MC

Posts: 7432; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

I never understood why would anyone want large viewing angles on a smartphone; quite the contrary, I have always saw this as a downside of the display.

9. MEeee

Posts: 425; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

In 2020, Apple will make their 1st oled screen with the worst viewing angle and called it iPrivacy Display. The sheeple will praise it.

13. mikehunta727 unregistered

Just spit out my coffee from how hilarious this is /s

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