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Laptop Sunglasses

Laptop Sunglasses (mask out unwanted light)
  [vote for,

A sunny day in Seattle? Oh, well, it does happen.

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 certainly have.

But, then I tried blocking out light from 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.

mannby, Jul 27 2003

Laptop Sunglasses http://cf.mannby.co...nglasses/index.html
Invention home page [mannby, Oct 17 2004]

Pinhole glasses http://www.ozelink....ergies/pinholes.htm
More or less the same deal. [waugsqueke, Oct 17 2004]

SUMACKE® http://www.sumabran...m/pages/4/index.htm
Someone's making money on this sort of thing.... [mannby, Oct 22 2004]

Eskimo Goggles http://www.msu.edu/...Eskimo/goggles.html
For best effect I think you need goggles rather than open frames. The Inuit had the right idea. [matman, Nov 11 2006]

Glareware http://www.glarewear.com/
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.
Tiger Lily, Jul 27 2003

       Nice shirt, too. +
thumbwax, Jul 27 2003

       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.
phoenix, Jul 27 2003

mannby, Jul 27 2003

       I've tried normal sunglasses. The problem is sunglasses make the screen dark as well.
mannby, Jul 28 2003

       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.
Xoebe, Jul 28 2003

       Neat idea, and welcome to the bakery. (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, Jul 28 2003

       Yup...polarised sunglasses should do the trick
suctionpad, Jul 28 2003

       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!
tediousExp, Jul 23 2004

       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.
Worldgineer, Oct 22 2004

       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.
mannby, Dec 29 2004

       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%.
supercat, Jul 22 2009

       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. Wonderful!
mannby, May 13 2010


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