Apple is working on a screen that would allow for increased privacy on portable devices such as the iPhone and iPad, according to a patent application published Thursday.
Apple's application, entitled "Displays With Adjustable Angles-of-View," discusses using an electrically adjustable lens array that can modify backlight illumination to narrow the display's angle of view. While larger and wider screens have become all the rage, Apple sees the benefit of an occasionally smaller viewing area.
"Displays are typically designed to display images over a relatively wide angle of view to accommodate movements in the position of a viewer relative to the display," Apple said in its application. "In some situations, such as when a user of a laptop or other device with a display is using the device in public, the wide viewing angle is undesirable as it compromises privacy."
Rather than using an attachable filter, this approach would be integrated into the display in a series of substrate layers, with a layer of liquid crystal material sandwiched between. The substrate layers then might include a color filter and thin-film transistor.
The liquid crystal layer could then be controlled using electrodes, changing portions of the filter layer to a dark or translucent state and restricting the display's angle of view.
Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The application, which was filed with the US Patent and Trade Office in June 2016, was first spotted by Apple Insider.
Does the Mac still matter? Apple execs tell why the MacBook Pro was over four years in the making, and why we should care.
Tech Enabled: CNET chronicles tech's role in providing new kinds of accessibility.
reading•Apple files patent for screen with privacy-viewing options
Dec 15•The iMac Pro isn't for everyone (Apple Byte Extra Crunchy, Ep. 114)
Dec 15•The iMac Pro is here!
Dec 15•The iMac Pro isn’t for everyone (Apple Byte Extra Crunchy Podcast, Ep. 114)
Dec 14•Apple Maps hopes to keep you from getting lost at the airport