Your Next iPhone Might Work Better Outdoors With Sunglasses

Your Next iPhone Might Work Better Outdoors With Sunglasses

If you’ve ever tried to use your iPad while wearing a pair of Ray Bans, you know the drill: you can barely see the display. Counter-intutively, it’s not an issue of brightness: rather, polarized sun-glasses work by only letting in light that vibrates vertically, and the light coming from LCDs vibrates the wrong way.

Your next iPhone or iPad, though? It might change all that.

Apple has just filed a patent for a new type of display capable of playing nicely with polarized sunglasses:

The layer receives the linearly-polarized light on one surface, converts the linearly-polarized light to circularly-polarized light, and then emits the circularly-polarized light from another surface,” the application reads. “By emitting circularly-polarized light, the display reduces the perceived distortion found at some angles when the display is viewed through a linearly-polarizing filter.

Given how much criticism Apple gets for how bad their displays look in bright sunlight, it’s thought that this patent might open the door for Appe to suggest users put on sunglasses when using their iDevice outdoors. iShades, anyone?

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  • Gohtac

    Shame on you, promoting that coffee company in such a way – hope you got some good money for it…

  • Kate

    I have no problem with my mirrored/polarized Ray Ban Aviators on either my iPhone or iPad. How is this an issue?

  • Didnt Work

    Amen. Starbucks = fail

  • E Sizzle

    totally an issue!  noticed it this morning whil trying to read my ipad with my new pair of polarized shades…couldn’t see anything unless at weird angles…bum out.

  • Chris Cooper

    I’ve got polarised Oakley’s which block the iPad display when it’s in portrait but fine in landscape. Interestingly, I don’t get the problem with the iPhone though. Just a bit of a rainbow effect but I can see the screen fine :)

  • B066Y

    I like the coffee I make at home better then any coffe shop but what’s wrong with Starbucks?

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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