Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Translucent Backs for Laptops?

I'm writing this post on an 11" MacBook Air, in a car on the highway; my wife is driving and I am connected to the internet via the moving hotspot generated by my Android phone. It's bright out and I was having some trouble reading the screen—with the exception of a patch in the middle, which had a brighter background and so provided more contrast, a patch produced by the translucent white Apple logo on the screen

Which suggests an interesting possibility. Why not make the whole lid out of a translucent material, thus providing a brighter background at no cost in power. It would only work in a bright environment—but then, that's when it is most needed.

Eventually it occurred to me to check the setting for screen brightness. With that turned up, the rest of the screen is readable too. But the translucent back still seems as though it might make sense.

Perhaps under some circumstances it would be a disadvantage, although I'm not sure what those would be. If so, use the high tech version. Two layers of polarizing material, one of which can have its polarization switched, vertical to horizontal or left handed to right, to make the combination opaque.


Prasant Banerjee said...

I found this idea very interesting. The more important question is: would the manufacturers agree to abide by this cost-prohibitive exercise in their relentless quest for profit?

Anonymous said...

Interesting Idea.
Although I love Apple products and the company itself I doubt they would sacrifice aesthetic appeal for extra utility (assuming a translucent back didn't look as nice). If they cared about people looking at their screen in the sun they never wouldn't have put a glass panel over a glossy display in the first place.

Also having an extra setting/button for changing the material's polarisation would violate steve jobs's design philosophy! As simple as possible with as few buttons as possible!

I also find it strange that someone who buys a macbook air wouldn't also prefer an iPhone over android :o

brenoalmpq said...
They already have done something better:

Maybe you will able to get a USB version and use as an second monitor in your mac.

IlĂ­on said...

The Future Is Here (almost)