microsoft privacy patentDon’t you hate it that when you’re out in public using your phone or laptop that you have strangers looking over to see what you’re doing? There are some screen protectors out there that helps prevent people from looking over your shoulder but those screen protectors can’t be applied to everything.

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This is why a Microsoft patent for a privacy display sounds particularly intriguing. According to a recent patent discovered by Patently Mobile, it seems that Microsoft is looking into creating a display for computers and mobile devices that will give its user the privacy they need. Basically this involves creating a backlight system that will only allow the user looking directly at the screen to view the information.

This means that people sitting next to you won’t be able to see what’s on your screen due to the backlighting’s angular intensity profiles, as you can see in the diagram above which illustrates how this system will work. In some ways this reminds us of the Nintendo 3DS console in which the screen needs to be viewed at a particular angle/direction in order for the user to experience the full 3D effect.

Microsoft’s patent isn’t particularly new as back in 2011, Apple themselves had patented a similar idea in which a narrow cone of light would allow the user viewing the content head on to see what’s on the display, thus preventing busybodies from peeking in on your activities. Of course whether or not this patent becomes a reality remains to be seen, but it sounds like a good idea.

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