Apple’s Retina displays are known for their ultra-crisp visuals and wide viewing angles. While this is a good thing, sharper screens can advertise your data to prying eyes, especially in public places like cafes, airports, and trains.

MacBook users that want to hide their data from snooping have been resorting to privacy screens. These are mounted over the laptop’s display to prevent unwanted parties from viewing what is displayed at large angles.

Kensington MP15 Magnetic Privacy Screen for MacBook Pro

Privacy screens are quite effective, but they are bulky, forgettable, and extremely overwhelming to people who use laptops regularly in public places. Imagine having to mount an extra screen to your laptop every time you want to use it on the go. It’s likely you’ll get bored over time.

Besides, a secondary screen reduces the viewing quality of the display and doesn’t do much to hide the fact that you’re viewing some valuable information.

Now Apple wants to change that with a new mind-blowing technology that will let you control what is displayed on the screen with a gaze. Basically, the laptop will use cameras to identify where you are staring before encrypting the displayed content accordingly.

The part of the screen at which you’re gazing will display clear and understandable content. In contrast, other parts will show jumbled content that makes no sense to onlookers.

Illustration of Apple’s Gaze-Dependent Display Encryption Technology (Image: Laptop Analyst)

But what about those who don’t want to mask the screen at all? What if you’re going to watch a movie? Apple accommodates this in its patent by including an alternative route – a button that allows the user to enable or disable visual encryption.

This is a ground-breaking innovation that could replace MacBook Privacy screens completely. However, it’s yet to be applied, and we still don’t know whether it will ever come to be.

Author: Victor Wachanga

Writer, 3D artist, and thinker. Tech is fascinating. Tech is scary

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