Computers with crisp and colorful monitors have made some tasks, such as drafting designs, a lot easier. But those high-resolution displays are so good that they also make it possible for someone to read over your shoulder -- a potential disaster if you're drafting the latest list of employee layoffs or other sensitive information. Now, 3M Co. in St. Paul, Minn., has the latest thing to brush off busybodies. The Privacy Filter is a frame with a thin sheet of "light control film" that fits over a monitor, in much the same way that an antiglare shield works. The film has microscopic vertical lines spaced about a hair's breadth apart, which act like the slats of a vertical blind. So the image on the screen can only be seen head-on, not from the side. The display appears to dim as viewers move from directly in front of the screen; at viewing angles greater than 30 degrees, it's completely black. The Privacy Filter retails for about $150 and will be available through computer supply dealers.
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