Apple patent combats Lookie-Loos with glasses-activated screen blur


Enlarge / For your eyes only.

Apple is giving a new meaning to the phrase “only for your eyes”. A patent filed by Apple and released Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office describes the tech giant’s interest in developing “privacy glasses” that blur content on a device’s screen unless someone wears special glasses.

As discovered by Patently Apple, the patent, which focuses on creating different FaceID profiles for different visual impairments, is exploring a new type of privacy screen. The patent does not name any Apple product. Instead, it refers to electronic devices in general, including smartphones, watches, laptops, televisions, and car displays. Drawings in the patent show the function on a smartphone-like device.

The technology would use a face scan to determine if the user is wearing the required glasses. It could recognize the headgear by a specific graphic such as a QR or barcode.


A face scan can recognize an authenticator like a QR code on the glasses.

A face scan can recognize an authenticator like a QR code on the glasses.

If you are concerned that someone is looking over your shoulder, you can activate the function “Make graphics illegible”. Your privacy glasses, on the other hand, would “counteract the deliberate blurring”.

“The blurry graphical output can compensate for the distortion created by the user’s vision through the protective goggles, for example by blurring part and / or all of a standard graphical output; an overlay is created over the standard graphical output; and / or make elements of the standard graphical output larger, lighter, and / or clearer, “the Apple patent states.” In some embodiments, the fuzzy graphical output can only replace certain graphical elements presented in the standard graphical output The fuzzy graphical output can be a standard graphical output designed to compensate for the goggles. “

The patent does not cover the actual glasses that are used to activate the privacy feature. Rumor has it that Apple’s first mixed reality headset could hit the market as early as 2022. As with all patents, there is no guarantee that we will ever see this technology in an actual product.