Future iPhone & iPad displays could hide your private info from others

Future iPhone & iPad displays could hide your private info from others
Apple has a mixed history with innovation. The company often takes its time to bring existing hardware or software features found on Android phones over to the iPhone - the most recent example is a high-refresh-rate display (said to arrive with the next iPhone 13).

Yet, Apple is a pioneer in other areas, like security. This applies to both software and hardware. Apple recently introduced App Tracking Transparency, making apps ask for permission before starting to track you. It also took biometric recognition systems like Touch ID and Face ID mainstream with the iPhone 5S and iPhone X.

Does that mean it's time for an under-screen Touch or Face ID? Not just yet. The patent granted to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with the name "Gaze-dependent display encryption" is for those who read confidential information in public and don't want someone to get a glance of what's on their screen. The patent was filed in September 2019 and then granted in March 2020.

Simply put, the software feature, aided by Face ID hardware and software algorithms, will act like one of those protective films you might have seen over monitors in hotels or banks. They are there to prevent the screen from being viewable from an angle.

In other words - only the person using the computer can see what's on the screen. For someone passing by or looking from aside, it just appears blurry/dark.

No, the Cupertino-based company won't sell you a physical filter that goes over the screen of your device. Apple will try to mimic this effect on-display and make it more seamless. The goal is that the iPad, Mac, or even iPhone will know precisely where the user is looking at the display.

You'd be able to see all parts of your screen just as normal, but that won't be the case for someone who's looking at it at an angle. They'll see an altered version of your information - either in the form of a gibberish text or a distorted image. The feature is expected to be intelligent enough to know when and where you are looking to avoid causing mishaps.

Of course, at this point, it's an idea rather than a confirmed addition to Apple's new and existing products, but it's very "Apple", so it wouldn't be surprising to see it debut during one of its future events.
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