Throw away your laptop privacy screen and use this camera-plus-software approach for the ultimate in security!
Laptop privacy screens (or “monitor filters”) reduce the viewing angle of a laptop screen in order to prevent evildoers from snooping on sensitive information on your laptop (Figure 1).
Unfortunately, these privacy screens have a few downsides:
- They are inelegant to attach. Often, the attachment points block a small amount of screen real-estate.
- They slightly darken the screen even when viewed directly head-on
- When collaborating with coworkers, removing and replacing the screen is time-consuming.
A high-speed camera could, in combination with facial recognition and eye-tracking software, be used to determine who is looking at the screen and exactly what part of the screen they are looking at.
Then, the privacy system simply scrambles the contents of your laptop screen as soon as it notices an unauthorized individual looking at your screen (Figure 2). (When you are the only viewer, the eye tracking camera can recognize you and not scramble the screen.)
In an extra-fancy system, the scrambling mode could be operational at all times, with the laptop only unscrambling the very specific part of the screen that the user is looking at (Figure 3). This is similar to the idea of foveated rendering, where additional computational resources are directed toward the part of the screen that the user is actually looking at.
If you own a laptop manufacturing company and are looking for an endless hardware task to employ your cousin or something, this would be a great project!
PROS: The laws of physics do not prevent this from working!
CONS: Might be impossible to use a laptop in a coffeeshop with this system activated.