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Apple granted patent for a privacy film for a Mac laptop with a curved display

Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,983,256) for “privacy films for curved displays” that refers to a Mac laptop with a curved display. It could also apply to the rumored curved screen iPhone.

A laptop with a curved display is uncommon, but not unheard of. In 2015, the designer Metti offered a mockup of a Samsung Ativ 4K (pictured), a laptop with a curved UHD screen. And in 2017, Acer launched the Predator 21 X, a curved screen gaming notebook.

In the patent data, Apple says that laptop 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. 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. 

Some companies currently make privacy films for laptops, tablets, and smartphones. What’s interesting about Apple’s patent is that it specifically mentions laptops with curved displays.

However, in the patent data Apple says that  privacy film for a curved display may also include a light-redirecting layer. The light-redirecting layer may redirect light towards the primary viewer of the display. In the edge of the display, light may be redirected by a larger angle than in the center of the display. The light-redirecting layer may be a prism layer or a liquid crystal layer. A coherent fiber bundle may also be used in a privacy film to redirect light to a primary viewer of a curved display. 

Here’s the (rather technical) summary of the patent: “A privacy film may have a light-blocking layer that is interposed between first and second transparent substrates. The light-blocking layer may have a plurality of opaque portions and a plurality of transparent portions. The opaque portions may be shaped to ensure light from the display is directed only to the primary viewer of the display. Each opaque portion of the light-blocking layer may extend along a respective longitudinal axis between the first and second transparent substrates. 

“Privacy films used to cover curved displays may have opaque portions that extend along longitudinal axes that have different angles relative to the transparent substrates. Opaque portions in the edge of the privacy film may have longitudinal axes that are at non-perpendicular angles with respect to the transparent substrates. A privacy film for a curved display may also include a light-redirecting layer such as a prism layer or a liquid crystal layer.”

Article provided with permission from AppleWorld.Today
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