Rain Technology Demos Privacy Solutions at DW 2024

Hi, it’s Chris Chinnock from Insight Media. I’m at DisplayWeek 2024 in the technology suite for Rain Technology. They’re a company you may not have heard of, but they’ve actually been around for quite a while developing a lot of IP around switchable privacy, polarization, 3D, etc.  I want to show you first how their privacy solution works. On laptops they have an exclusive with HP for the privacy solution, so let’s take a look at how this works. If you look at this diagram, what it’s showing is the laptop stack that’s used by HP. The backlight here, the LCD, and you’ve got a retarder stack an active retarder stack with polarizers up and down. So in the normal mode what you see here is the ambient light comes in it gets reflected off the backlight and can contribute to light. There’s a wide output cone here. With V1 on it’s the active retarder stack is letting ambient light get through the LCD as well. When you change the voltage on that retarder stack, which is basically a big single cell LCD panel, what you do now is change the polarization of this light as it goes through the polarizer, and it gets blocked. It also changes the compensation for the light going through the LCD panel for a very narrow cone. So that’s how it works on the laptop and if you look at the laptop here, we’re straight on, but if I go off axis, you can see the image gets very dark now. This is actually turned on by the user with a little button on the laptop itself. You can see the screen got brighter when the privacy mode is off, but it doesn’t have to get brighter. That was just an implementation by HP.

Now the second architecture I want to show you is this one for a personal information display in automotive. Now you’ve got the configuration a little bit different as you can see. You’ve got two BLUs backlight units as part of this and the LCD is further up in the stack. So, with V1 on in this case you’ve got normal operation. You change to V2 over here and it changes how that retarder stack acts and directs light very directionally as you can see in this diagram. So, let’s go take a look at that so down on the trade show floor where Rain Technologies implemented their Privacy solution in the Tianma booth.  I captured a little bit at that demo in the Tianma video I did there. I’ll put that into this video as well so you can see how it works there.

Over here is a privacy screen demo. This technology is from Rain Technology, and they call this a screen branding option. So, I’m in the driver’s position and this is what you might see in the normal mode. And now it’s gone dark and if you change it maybe another time, you’ll start to see some branding. There we go now you can see that there’s the Rain brand and on the other side a little bit dim is because of the contrast, is a Tianma logo on the other side. So, this is a kind of an interesting concept. You don’t just have to put a blank screen for the pass passenger side or for the driver. You can put a logo up there and vice versa. You can put a logo for the passenger to look at on the driver’s screen. Is this an advertising opportunity or branding opportunity? Perhaps. I think this is kind of why they’re showing this at the at the show – to see what tier ones and car makers think.

Okay, here is another demonstration of a Privacy screen. This is to demonstrate a switchable asymmetric Privacy screen. So first of all, it is switchable so I can turn it on and off. Here is off as you can see on both sides and on is when it’s asymmetric because this is going to be a passenger display not a center console display. And it can have different levels of light transmissivity. It’s 0.2% light passing on this side and 0.5% light passing on the other side. This is all obviously adjustable in the retarder stack based on the geometry of the situation. One more to look at.

This is Rain’s point of sale demo. This could be at a retail store or coffee shop or maybe an ATM. In this mode there’s no privacy. You can see everything. But when you start the transaction, and you stick in your card it’s supposed to go into privacy mode. And as you can see it does do that. When you take your card out it comes out of privacy mode. So pretty cool. Chris Chinnock for Insight Media.

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