Patent indicates encrypted displays could appear on future Apple devices – Blog – 10 minute

Why it matters: Regardless of the security and privacy measures we take on our devices, the content reaching us through their screens is ultimately susceptible to shoulder surfing and is often the source of amusement for overly inquisitive peers. Although third-party and in-built privacy screens have tried to address the problem and succeeded to some extent, Apple seems to be developing a solution that visually encrypts the display itself to make it impossible for unwanted observers to figure out the actual screen content.
Shoulder surfing remains a common practice among folk who have little regard for user privacy and often engage in this unethical activity, either for personal amusement or to social engineer their way to someone’s sensitive information.
There have been attempts to curb this phenomenon with products like HP’s Sure View display technology built into some of its laptops and third-party privacy filters for several form-factor devices. Apple users, however, might not have to worry long about this problem as the company recently filed for a patent that tracks the user’s gaze as they operate the device and visually encrypts content to protect it from unwanted observers.
PhoneArena reports that Apple’s ‘gaze-dependent display encryption’ technology could appear in multiple Apple devices in the future, including iPhones, iPads, monitors, the Apple Watch – basically anything with a display and other hardware required for the tech to function.
Using the camera to identify and track the user’s gaze, along with special processing circuitry, the device’s screen can generate visually encrypted frames when an onlooker is detected. These frames are made up of two regions: one that includes unmodified content for the intended user, based on their gaze and proximity from the camera, and a second obscured region that shows manipulated content through text scrambling, color altering, and image warping techniques.

The area within these circles represents unmodified information currently under user view
The patent also suggests that content manipulation will take place dynamically as “display content is not to be visually encrypted” when an onlooker’s gaze is away from the display. When they do take a peek (intentionally or otherwise), the processing circuitry will begin generating visually encrypted frames, seemingly unnoticeable to the user.
The whole idea potentially makes sure that information reaches its desired user safely, much like the Compubody Sock from several years ago that set out to achieve the same objective, albeit in a much simpler, low-tech fashion.

The Compubody Sock was certainly effective but risked you getting more attention than usual
It remains to be seen if Apple implements this technology in its future products or simply decides to add this patent to its ever-growing pile of unused ones. The company’s Face ID tech could eventually evolve to support this feature, further improving the user privacy of its devices; however, the processing and financial costs associated with this technology are likely going to make for even more expensive Apple products in the future.

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Uber will pay its drivers to place rooftop ad displays on their vehicles – Blog – 10 minute

In brief: Advertising is big business these days, and Uber is looking to capitalize on that industry in a more direct way now. Uber has partnered with ad tech company Adomni to place “ad displays” on the rooftops of its drivers’ vehicles.
In terms of shape, these ad displays will be similar to what city-goers often see on top of taxis. Of course, as potentially lucrative as this could be for Uber, the company would have a hard time forcing its thousands of drivers to adopt these displays without giving them something in return.
That’s why Uber will compensate any drivers who decide to play ball. Over the course of a temporary pilot program (we’re unsure exactly how long it will run) across three cities, Uber will offer its drivers $100 a week (in addition to a $300 upfront payout) for installing these displays. Drivers will need to cart customers around for at least 20 hours each week to be eligible.

The types of ads Uber plans to show on these displays will vary, and we’re sure the company has some internal system for determining when and where to display certain sponsored messages. Specific ads may work better in some participating cities than others, after all.
Uber’s rooftop ads will reportedly begin showing up on April 1, so if you drive for the ride-sharing company, it might be worth looking into this program further. We’ll update you if Uber releases any specific sign-up information in the near future.
Masthead credit: Shutterstock.

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This ridiculous new gadget displays time using sequins – Blog – 10 minute

From out in left field: Sometimes a gadget comes along that seemingly has no real purpose other than just to serve as the product of one’s creativity. The Sequino is just such a contraption. Technically it’s an Arduino-powered clock, but only if you don’t mind being four minutes late to everything in your life.
Surely you are aware of the recent fad that uses sequins to change the color or design of fabric. Called “flip sequins,” the material changes color when rubbed one direction and changes back when rubbed in reverse. It has been used on clothes, pillows, toys, and other products, and now it has been used to make a digital clock.
The Sequino, as it has been dubbed, uses a motorized stylus powered by an Arduino Nano R3 to stroke the flip-sequin fabric on a cylinder to spell out the time. It sounds like a 1980s-era printer and is just as slow. It is so slow that the maker had to speed up the demo video (above) by a factor of three to prevent viewers’ eyes from bleeding as they watch the thing spell out the time over the course of four minutes.

Four minutes just to check the time is far from practical, but one could say that about anything made with flip sequins. It’s pure gimmickry at its highest level, which is probably why such products are a hit mainly with the 10- to 13-year-old demographic.
That said, the Sequino is a clever and unexpected implementation of the fabric and the Arduino platform. The creator Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi deserves kudos for engineering a way to demonstrate the silliness of the fad with an equally ridiculous device.
He is not selling the clock, but he did share the design, materials, and pitfalls encountered while creating it. For those with too much time on their hands (pun intended) and the will to reengineer it, it would make for an interesting DIY project.

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Bosch Wants 3D Displays in the Car


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Bosch aims to make your car’s instrument panel a 3D display, no goggles required. Crucial warnings would be in 3D; for instance, the forward collision warning — BRAKE! — but not the current fuel level, and perhaps not a low-fuel warning. A 3D warning would visually float above the rest of the instrument panel. The 3D notification could also be used for other time-sensitive warnings such as a sharply curved road, possibly triggered only if the driver’s speed is too high to safely make the turn, or for lane departure or blind spot warnings.

Bosch says the 3D warnings would not require 3D glasses or eye tracking (to determine the location of the driver’s head and sightlines). 3D might also be helpful in rear backup cameras. It will reveal details at the massive Frankfurt Auto Show next month.

“Grasp Important Visual Information Faster”

While there have been so-called 3D products before used in cars, which can be as little as 3D-building shading on 3D maps, Bosch says this is real 3D. According to Steffen Berns, president of Bosch Car Multimedia, “The display’s depth of field means drivers can grasp important visual information faster, whether from an assistance system or a traffic-jam alert. Alerts that seem to jump out of the display are much more obvious and urgent.”

Bosch also sees rear parking and backing being simpler and safer with 3D vision. When parking, the rear-view camera
image is more realistic, allowing obstacles to be detected earlier, and drivers can get an even better idea of how much space they have left between the rear fender and, say, a parking garage wall, Berns says.

Previous Bosch products included 3D vision in factory automation, 3D modeling as part of automated parking solutions, and the mapping of 3D elements in an electronic horizon solution. The announced Bosch technology is for the instrument panel — the one behind the steering wheel, not the center stack display or head-up display. Bosch won’t comment on where else Bosch would or might deploy the technology. It should be noted that the head-up display already lines up well with the driver’s line of sight. At the same time, cars that have important notifications — particularly the Brake Now warnings — are pretty hard to miss in 2D when they’re in the HUD.

“The new 3D display creates a convincing three-dimensional effect that both drivers and passengers can see – without 3D glasses or eye-tracking,” said spokesman Tim Wieland. “This brings an unprecedented sense of depth to vehicle instrumentation and improved visualization to assistance systems, for example the reversing camera.”

To the extent 3D without glasses (glasses like the one you got if you bought a 3D TV 5-10 years ago, except nobody got that excited by 3D except for the movie Avatar) needs the viewer to be more or less on-axis, this might open up the possibility of a separate panel in front of the passenger. Bosch says a single Bosch controller can handle every display in the car, such as the instrument panel, HUD, center stack panel(s), and inside mirror camera; it would be easy to add one more for the passenger. Some cars (non-Bosch-instrumented) have as many as 15 separate video/vision controllers that add weight and complexity, not to mention interconnect cables that could corrode.

3D Better Than the Old 3D

If 3D displays in cars sounds like technology that’s already in cars, it depends what 3D means. Bosch’s 3D announcement here appears to be about the use of stereoscopic vision using both eyes. Nobody’s going to argue that isn’t 3D. What exists already is 3D-perspective navigation mapping on a 2D display. In a zoomed-in view, a building would use shading to appear three-dimensional. To a lesser extent, shading on on-screen buttons creates a 3D effect, and some touch displays actually create a pulse that makes you feel as if you physically pushed a button.

The new version of MBUX, the Mercedes-Benz User Experience, has self-described 3D displays. Gordon Wagener, chief design officer for Mercedes, told Business Insider the MBUX display creates an impression of depth, rather than “popping out” at the user (as the Bosch display does). Mercedes also uses the head-up display to overlay mapping information such as a turn arrow in the line-of-sight between the driver and the physical turn or junction.

Instrument panel displays are quickly shifting from analog to digital, as well as higher quality displays such as OLED. In addition, the consumer demand for music and navigation from smartphones means buyers want to see at least a 5-inch color display in the center stack. Global Market Insights forecasts the demand for will double by 2025, to $30 billion a year (26.7 euros).

Getting Ready for the Frankfurt Auto Show

Now that the Frankfurt Show (also called IAA, for Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung) is just a month out, suppliers and automakers are starting to beat the drum for their cars, SUVs, EVs, and component products. If you’ve been to the January CES show in Las Vegas, multiply the crowds and vendors clamoring for attention by 4x to 5x. Frankfurt runs in odd years only, drew a reported 810,000 attendees in 2017, and hit 1 million twice this century, according to IAA. This year’s show starts with press days Sept. 10-11.

It’s safe to say the show will focus on alternative energy sources (other than the combustion gasoline engine), safety, and technology that makes driving safer, easier, or more productive. The current US price of gasoline, $2.65 a gallon, is about a dollar below the historical peak (reached in the first half of this decade), so the price and supply seem good, but the rest of the world is not as sanguine as we are.

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Bosch is working on glasses-free 3D displays for in-car use – gpgmail


German auto industry giant Bosch is developing new technology that will add glasses-free 3D imaging to future versions of its in-car digital display technology. These 3D displays use passive 3D tech, which mans you won’t need to wear glasses to see the effect, and it also skips eye tracking, which is a key ingredient for most high-quality glasses-free 3D displays today.

Going glasses-free, and not requiring that a viewer look from a very specific position are both key ingredients for successfully bring 3D display tech to cars – for obvious reasons. A driver needs to be focused on the road, and the fundamental guiding principle for all Curren in-car display tech is that they provide easy-to-grasp information at a glance, so that a driver’s focus stays exactly where it should.

But why would a driver even want 3D visual effects in their instrument panel or infotainment display? Well, Bosch says that there are multiple compelling reasons, including making sure that crucial alerts really pop-out when they need to in an attention-catching way. Plus, parking cameras can present even more accurate 3D views to the driver so they really get a sense of the space they’re working with. And during navigation, guidance can offer 3D representations of where and when to turn, which can eliminate questions around whether that next corner really is the right corner you’re looking for.

That’s all stuff that could be beneficial now, but it’s also a bet on a future where vehicles are autonomous at least part of the time, and in-car immersive displays could be even more of an opportunity to entertain and inform passengers while they’re ferried to their destinations.

Bosch says that part of the reason they can do this now, compared to in the past, is that more powerful mobile computing has changed the game for what they can build. Instead of having essentially a myriad of tiny, cheap underpowered controllers scattered throughout a car’s tech stack, automakers are generally moving towards having one centralized computer that’s plenty more powerful, and that can be updated easily and quickly over-the-air.

The company doesn’t say when we’ll see these systems actually in use through their automaker customers in shipping cars, but especially in the high end where premium distinguishing features can make all the difference, it shouldn’t be long before some carmaker takes the plunge.


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