KEY POINTS

  • Apple has registered a patent for a special display film to ensure user privacy
  • The film can be scaled for devices with different-sized displays
  • The company may even sell the film separately

Apple has registered a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office for its future devices, which enlists a special film that can cover both flat and curved displays and ensure better privacy. According to the patent, the film can also work as a removable add-on utility.

The patent mentions utilizing the wide-angle design of displays. Generally, displays are designed with wide viewing angles to accommodate the position of the viewer relative to the position of the phone. However, this wide viewing angle also makes the device suspect to other people’s glances, when used in a pubic setting, leading to compromised privacy, especially when putting in passwords.

The film can let the viewer limit the viewing angle of the display to prevent those around from seeing what is on it. In certain scenarios, such as low-light situations, the film may also lead to a better viewing experience.

The film can be selectively placed over a display and will act as light blocking layer, according to Patently Apple. It can also be integrated with a display by embedding it between the first and second transparent layers of the screen. It can help limit the exposure by increasing the amount of opaque portions over the transparent portions in the display. This helps the device ensure that light from the display is only targeted at the primary user.

How this works with a curved display is even more interesting due to varied viewing angles. On such displays, at the edge of the display, the light may be redirected even more than the center of the display.

The patent further mentions that the film can be scaled for larger devices such as iPads, MacBooks and iMacs, or smaller ones such as the Apple Watch.

The patent no. 20200049864 was published by the U.S. patent office; the patent was filed in the second quarter of 2019.