Ever have a feeling that someone — next to you on the train or behind you in line at the grocery store — is snooping on your smartphone screen? Well, as it turns out, Apple is researching a potential solution to this digital privacy intrusion. A recently discovered patent application that was reported by Tech Xplore reveals the tech giant is looking into a technology to distinguish between user and unwanted onlookers and blur screen content not intended for unauthorized eyes. The feature, called “gaze-dependent display encryption,” would utilize face recognition to determine the owner of the smartphone and eye-tracking to figure out what segment of the screen the authorized viewer is scanning at the moment. If unknown faces appear, either directly in front of the device or in the background, gaze encryption would be activated. According to the patent, if an authorized viewer is reading a screen and a person appears in the background snooping, eye-tracking will leave currently viewed spots untouched while it renders the remainder of the screen indecipherable to onlookers. The obscured segments will resemble the text or image displayed, but scramble it. These manipulations will apparently include text scrambling, color altering and image warping.
Another example of security/privacy vs big brother. We’ll keep an eye on this developing story…pun intended. 🙂