Sony have shown off a new type of coating which virtually eliminates glare from touchscreens.
Now I don’t want to be a pedant about things but it’s not strictly speaking ‘glare’ and also there is no such thing as ‘anti-glare’ coatings. I can bore you with the details if you like but they are better described as ‘anti-reflection’.
Commonly used in glasses lenses these coatings minimise the unsightly reflections people see when you’re wearing your glasses letting them actually see your eyes. They really look much much better and at CamOpt we always recommend these coatings.
They are also used in touchscreen devices to help the screen be more visible in bright light or sunshine (not often an issue in Edinburgh…). Traditional coatings use microscopic layers of a material that cause the reflections to cancel each other as they pass through the layers meaning almost nothing is reflected from the lens.
Sony’s new approach uses lots of tiny ‘lenslets’ (they say like a moth’s eye) which take the oncoming light and scatter it in all directions. Reflections require smooth surfaces so this microscopically rough surface doesn’t reflect but scatters light. Their demo is quite impressive and hopefully it can come to optics one day as long as the optical qualities of the surfaces are maintained.