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System and method for viewing screen privacy

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238035D
Publication Date: 2014-Jul-28
Document File: 4 page(s) / 611K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

As folks go about their day, traveling to next appointments, working in coffee shops, moving from private to public spaces and vice versa, there is a need at times for more screen privacy. There are physical computer privacy screens which can be installed to limit a display's viewing angle, but the need for less cumbersome, more instantaneous methods to use and retract the privacy mechanism are needed.

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System and method for viewing screen privacy


Instead of cumbersome filters that you have to install and remove, or manage so that they do not damage the machine or the filter itself, the ability to more unobtrusively provide privacy while working in social or less secure environments is warranted. Proposed is a simple mechanism, one embodiment of which can be implemented in software alone. This idea takes advantage of the fact that image interpretation becomes increasing difficult when viewed from an oblique angle. In this invention one or more user facing cameras are used to detect the eyes of unwanted viewers who are off-center from the display and then compresses the image horizontally, increasing the effect of off-center viewing. The degree of horizontal compression is such that the intended viewer can still read the screen. This simple mechanism has these additional benefits:

The intended viewer is alerted by the change in the image that someone is snooping.

The snooper is alerted that his or her snooping has been detected.

In the software-only embodiment, the viewer camera of the device uses gaze detection software to identify extra eyes. Eyes that deviate most from perpendicular are tagged as snooping. The software then compresses the image in proportion to the angle deviating from perpendicular. The greater the angle, the less compression.

At close range, viewing angles at the left and right edges of the screen will differ. It is possible to progressively and continuously compress the image horizontally (rather than using a single compression value). This will have the effect of making the image appear to turn and bend away from the snooper.

In the software-only embodiment, gaze detection is limited by the off-center viewing angle of the user-facing camera on the device. The range of snooper gaze detection angles can be extended by 1) adding a wide-angle lens to the user-facing camera (either built in or after market) and 2) adding additional side-facing cameras to the device.

This capability could be selectively enabled o...