Patent for Sale:

Display Area Co-filtering for Privacy and Glare    

Display enhancement, to selectively obscure display images viewed through a window, and/or to mitigate sunlight glare.

Overview

Multi-faceted display enhancement: enabling display privacy; mitigating sunlight glare – both in ways that fill feature gaps of other enhancement technologies.

The display is augmented with an optical laminate, comprised of materials that are already mass produced for cost-sensitive display applications. A nearby window is augmented with a complementary laminate, bounding the display area.

To the display user within this area, the display appears normal and the window remains transparent. Likewise, to viewers outside of the display area, except that the window selectively obscures light form the display (selectively, i.e., the transparent window only blocks light from the display) – enhancing display privacy and information security, or reducing distraction.

In the opposite direction, any sunlight glare that is inbound to the display through the window is selectively filtered at the display surface - mitigating display washout and enhancing readability.

The laminates may be applied to most commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) displays, either during manufacture, or as an aftermarket enhancement. They impart light with polarization that is invisible to the naked eye, but permits them to filter each other’s light, selectively. The use of elliptical or circular polarization maintains compatibility with common polarized eyewear (critical for, e.g., in-vehicle applications) and eases cross-polarizer alignment requirements.

Offering two patents, authored by teir 1 intellectual property law firm, with 49 and 27 claims, respectively, and all submitted claims approved.

Primary Application of the Technology

(1) Privacy of mobile computers used in the front seat of police vehicles, by selectively filtering images through the transparent prisoner partition that typically separates the front seats from a detainee in the rear.
(2) Avionics, Naval, Defense applications, which can benefit from either privacy or sunlight glare enhancement.
(3) Privacy of ATM machines, which may also benefit from glare mitigation in sunny areas.
(4) Office, Bank, Hospital applications, which can benefit from either privacy or sunlight glare enhancement.
(5) Privacy, sunlight glare enhancement, and reduced distraction/tailgating caused by in-vehicle entertainment /video systems.

The Problem Solved by the Technology

Prior art use of linear polarizers is incompatible with common polarized eyewear, causing user blindness to light from the display or window (a major issue for in-vehicle, aircraft, and other applications). Linear polarizers also require very tight relative alignment between the complementary cross-polarizers on the display and window. The use of circular cross-polarizers is an enabling feature for applications where these issues exist, achieving a more elegant and generic solution.

How the Technology Solves the Problem

Technically speaking, the laminates impart light with circular polarization, for an invisible signature that isn't detected by the naked eye. The window and display polarizations have opposite "handedness," to enable complementary light shielding characteristics (i.e., each transparent laminate selectively filters the other's light). Circularly polarized light will pass through common polarized eyewear, enabling potential use in vehicles, aircraft, naval ships and other applications where users may wear polarized eyewear. This could, otherwise, be a major issue for prior art, which uses linear polarization that can be blocked by common polarized eyewear. Also, whereas linear polarizers would require tight relative alignment between laminates on the display and window, the circular polarizers that are employed here permit much more flexible alignment, easing installation and use.

Competitive Advantage

This class of display enhancement fills feature gaps of other display enhancement technologies:
(1) For privacy enhancement, certain other technologies can limit viewing angle, but do not prevent over-the-shoulder privacy intrusion.
(2) For sunlight glare mitigation, certain other technologies can reduce internally reflected sunlight, but don't prevent washout due to the internally scattered glare.

The novel/patented use of circular polarization maintains compatibility with common polarized eyewear (critical for, e.g., in-vehicle applications) and eases cross-polarizer alignment requirements (versus use of common linear polarization, the relative orientation of laminates can be varied).

Additional Information

The purchaser may wish to pursue a product compatibility scheme, whereby displays and windows are indicated as compatible with each other, and can be combined when necessary, to this end (exclusivity protection based on principal of induced infringement). In this way, like any signal connector on an electronic device, which may-or-may-not be used in the future, the laminate on the display offers a peripheral function that puts enhancement on-hand when combined with the complementary window.

Patent Summary

U.S. Patent Classes & Classifications Covered in this listing:

Class 359: Optical: Systems And Elements

Optical elements included in this class are: Lenses; Polarizers; Diffraction gratings; Prisms; Reflectors; Filters; Projection screens; Optical Modulators; Optical Demodulators. Among the optical systems included in this class are: Compound lens systems; Light reflecting signalling systems (e.g., retroreflectors); stereoscopic systems; Binocular devices; Systems of lenticular elements; Systems involving light interference; Glare reducing systems; Light dividing and combining systems; Light control systems (e.g., light valves); building illumination with natural light; Systems for protecting or shielding elements; Optical systems whose operation depends upon polarizing, diffracting, dispersing, reflecting, or refracting light; kaleidoscopes. Further included are certain apertures, closures, and viewing devices of a specialized nature which involve no intentional reflection, refraction, or filtering of light rays. This class also includes optical elements combined with another type of structure(s) to constitute an optical element combined with a nonoptical structure or a perfection or improvement in the optical element.

Subclass 371: Using polarized light
Subclass 601: GLARE OR UNWANTED LIGHT REDUCTION

Class 296: Land Vehicles: Bodies And Tops

Portion of a land vehicle, secured to the running-gear thereof, which operates as a receptacle or load carrier, together with the top or cover therefor.

Subclass 97.1: Glare screen or visor