The glossy “Retina display” on the fourth-generation Apple iPad allows for stunning resolution, vibrant colors and rich contrast, and is one of the selling points of the iPad. The problem is that it makes it virtually impossible to use outside in direct sunlight.

Well, the iPad 5, which Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did not include in the recent media event that unveiled the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, may finally present a solution. The U.S. Patent & Trademark office published Friday an application by Apple for a “UV Mask with Anti-Reflection Coating and UV Absorption Material.” In other words, an anti-reflective film that will go on top of the iPad display during the manufacturing process to reduce glare and finally introduce the Apple iPad to the great outdoors.


An image published by Patently Apple shows exactly how Apple plans for this to work.

There are already a number of third-party products on the market designed to reduce glare on the iPad, but if it is done in the factory, Apple can ensure that the UV mask fits into the seamless design users expect from the iPad. Apple can also design the UV mask to not interfere with the resolution, color and contrast of the iPad Retina display. 

The patent seems to apply directly to the iPad, but Apple could use the same technology in future iPhones and even the rumored iWatch.