One of the recent solutions has been integrated privacy screens, which dramatically reduce the viewing angle of displays so that if someone attempts to glance over at your screen while you are working, they will see almost nothing. While a good solution, these privacy screens can impact the device usage as well to the detriment of the user experience, which is why, for example, HP’s Sure View integrated privacy screen can be toggled on and off.
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, laptop privacy features have become quite popular, including the ability to automatically blur the screen if a bystander looks at it. Removable privacy screens, which allow a laptop user to view their screen straight on while obscuring anyone looking from the side, are presumably familiar to you. HP has now developed a built-in one that can be switched on and off.
A more sophisticated approach is to use eye-tracking systems to automatically blur or turn off the screen when someone else looks at it. A new solution has popped up this year at CES from several manufacturers, and that is to actively reject shoulder surfing by use IR cameras to detect unwanted eyes and then blur the display if they are detected.
With Tobii Aware, the laptop will be able to continuously provide authentication for the correct user, so if that user turns their head, the display will blur, then when they turn back, it will come back into focus. Another approach is to use face recognition to put your laptop into sleep mode if you step away from it. Presence detection is another feature that has become a focus, including in Windows itself, and the device can automatically lock itself if you step away.
A final feature more geared to boosting battery life than privacy is to use eye tracking to dim the screen if you look away from it, then restore brightness when you look back. The ThinkPad X1 will […] automatically dim the display when it is not being looked at, and as the display is the largest power draw in the entire system, it can further improve battery life. Which laptop privacy features should Apple adopt? Would you like to see Apple implement any of these features? Please take our poll (you can select up to three options), and share your thoughts in the comments.
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