h a l f b a k e r y
Where life imitates science.
add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random
news, help, about, links, report a problem
or get an account
A sunny day in Seattle? Oh, well, it
If you've ever tried to use a laptop
out in the sunlight, you've probably
concluded that it doesn't emit
enough light, and doesn't reflect
enough of the screen contents. I
But, then I tried blocking out light
around the screen with my
hands, and, to my astonishment, the
contrast on the screen went up
tremendously. Hmm, I though. By
blocking out stray light, I must be
allowing the pupils in my eyes to
expand enough for me to actually be
able to see the screen.
Wouldn't it be nice if one could adapt
those 3-D glasses with built in LCD
screens that alternate between
transparent and opaque to
dynamically provide a transparent
window in the middle, just enough to
show the laptop screen?
Stupid. A much lower tech solution
would work almost as well, and could
easily be extended to block out light
in the visual periphery as well.
So, my wife cut me a raccoon mask
for my glasses, and for now I use a
cap to block out most of the rest of
the ambient light. But, you could
easily build clip-ons for glasses that
extend beyond the glasses and
improve the effect.
Follow the link to see what my
Laptop Sunglasses look like.
Invention home page [mannby, Oct 17 2004]
More or less the same deal. [waugsqueke, Oct 17 2004]
Someone's making money on this sort of thing.... [mannby, Oct 22 2004]
For best effect I think you need goggles rather than open frames. The Inuit had the right idea. [matman, Nov 11 2006]
Light from LCD screens has certain characteristics that make it different from other light, such as direct sunlight and reflections from other surfaces. The trick is to allow the light through from the laptop, but at the same time make the lenses block the light from everything else. When the maximum amount of light from the laptop reaches the eyes, the eyes adjust and the LCD screen appears much brighter than the surroundings. [andybryant, Jul 22 2009]
||You could remove the lenses from an old pair of
sunglasses and insert one end each of a cardboard core
from a roll of toilet paper for when
you're feeling especially satirical.
||I ain't buyin' it. Can we get independent verification please? If I need to block out backlight, I'd rather do it with a shield around the laptop itself.
||I've tried normal sunglasses. The
problem is sunglasses make the
screen dark as well.
||You are blocking glare - the glare being light coming into your eye at odd angles. The light literally bounces around inside your eye and fouls up the signal to noise ratio.
||Simple Polarized sunglasses will do wonders for you. Work great when trout fishing as well, you can see the fish under the surface of the water clearly - without them, all you see is the glare on the water surface. You gotta see it to believe it.
||Neat idea, and welcome to the bakery. (WTAGIPBAN)
||Yup...polarised sunglasses should do the trick
||Actually - normal polarized sunglasses
will not help much because the
polarizer in your laptop screen is at 45
degrees to horizontal, but the
sunglasses are set vertical. It DOES
help a lot if you turn the lenses to 45
degrees, cutting them to fit as
necessary (I suggest an old pair!). This
may be easier to set up looking at the
screen with the glasses facing you (ie
back to front) and setting for a dark
screen. You can try the effect by
rotating the glasses to 45 degrees
whilst watching your screen through
them before damaging them! This
looks a good summer product to me -
but I cannot find it!
||Wow, [mann], the commercial solution looks much more silly than yours.
||The problem is twofold - both your eyes are dialated from all of the sun and the sun is creating glare off your screen. I think the perfect solution would be your glasses with a light 45 degree polarization coating (as [tedious] suggests). Together, you should be able to see your screen fine.
||Thanks, tediosExp, for clarifying about the polarization angle. I've seen a lot of talk about LCDs and polarization on Halfbakery, but I don't have polarizing glasses, so I haven't tried it. I only have circular polarizing filters for my cameras.
||Worldgineer, you summarize it perfectly.
||BTW, AFAIK, polarizers don't really normally come in grades of darkness, though. In Physics class, they taught us that polarizers cut off 50% of randomly polarized light, period. Still, I know polarizers can cut off significantly more than the necessary 50% of random light. Hasselblad used to make polarizers that needed an exposure value change of 1.5, while newer ones only require a 1.0 change. One EV step equals halving or doubling the light intensity.
||If the backlight for the LCD were of a type which could flicker in controlled fashion while maintaining the same average brightness, synchronized LCD sunglasses could substantially improve the relative brightness of the screen content versus both glare and surroundings. For example, if the screen were 4x as bright for 1/4 of the time, and if the glasses were transparent 1/3 of the time (synchronized with the display), the glasses wouldn't dim the display much, but would dim everything else by 66%.
||The synchronization suggested by supercat would be great as
well! I see http://www.glarewear.com now has a commercial
product presumably with the 45 degree polarizer orientation.