HP Sure View privacy screens coming to the EliteBook 840 and 1040
Sit across the table from a bank teller and you'll probably notice that you can barely see anything on their flatscreen desktop displays despite viewing from a reasonable off-angle distance. HP has teamed up with 3M to offer a similar technology and privacy option on a select few of its EliteBook notebooks.
Based on a study conducted by Ponemon Institute, users or "visual hackers" can successfully acquire sensitive business information by means of simply gazing at another's notebook. HP Sure View works by applying a proprietary layer on the surface of the display that darkens when viewed beyond 35 degrees from the normal. Furthermore, the darkness of this layer is user-adjustable the same way that a notebook's brightness can be toggled up and down with the touch of one or two keys. This means that the layer can be turned off completely for when the user is ready to share the notebook with others nearby.
HP is promising that the panel would not impact the maximum brightness, contrast, or colors of the display with only a small impact to battery life. It will, however, only be compatible with TN panels at FHD resolution or lower for now. The manufacturer claims that applying its proprietary Sure View technology onto IPS panels would defeat the purpose of the panel's naturally wide viewing angles. Thus, the technology is off the table for tablets and smartphones at least for the time being.
HP Sure View will be made available first on the EliteBook 1040 and EliteBook 840 starting this September. The EliteBook 1040 Sure View option would support touchscreen functionality as well. Final prices have not been set in stone, but HP is estimating that the option will add approximately $75 USD to the price of the notebook. If successful, it is likely that the manufacturer will expand this technology onto more notebooks of both larger and smaller screens.