HP and 3M have partnered to produce business laptops with built-in privacy screens, the same sort of screens used at banks, hotels and other businesses to keep the contents on a monitor away from nosy people. These screens are available to purchase as independent items, but must be cut to fit an existing laptop’s display (or, perhaps, taped if you’re not concerned about style).
The idea is that business users might be doing something sensitive on their laptop that requires privacy; working on the plane, in a cafe, or other public places aren’t ideal, then. You could position yourself toward the wall, but that’s not always an option, and it still won’t prevent those who walk nearby from seeing what you’re doing.
Next year, HP is planning to debut a new line of business laptops that have privacy screens integrated into the display — to prevent “visual hacking”, the company says, which is probably low on one’s list of reasons why they wouldn’t want someone else seeing what’s up on their laptop.
With a privacy screen in place, only those looking at the laptop head-on will be able to see it — those at an angle will not. Having such functionality built-in, though, would be a problem for times when others need to see what’s on the screen. As such, HP will make the feature toggle-able, meaning you can toggle it on and off as needed. What kind of extra expense this will result in wasn’t stated.