Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Travolution@NBTA in Chicago - Part 4: Gizmos to warn off prying eyes

Try as conference organisers may to vet attendees, vendors flogging items akin to those sold on late-night home shopping channels are nonetheless a frequent fixture on trade show floors.

That said, I was delighted when I came across a useful gadget from office technology firm 3M.

The company’s laptop privacy screen is one of the most inventive products being exhibited on the NBTA trade show floor.

In a survey of 650 business travellers commissioned by 3M earlier this year, 45% admitted to sneaking a peak at their neighbours’ laptops.

Such voyeuristic behaviour is apparently rampant among male travellers, who let their eyes wander 20% more often than their female counterparts—surprise, surprise.

Of those who do peek at other people’s laptops, 42% admitted to being interested in what they see.

3M’s laptop filter, which retails for about £25, fits over any size computer and literally blacks out the screen from a peripheral view, so that only those sat directly in front of the computer can see what is being displayed.

This simple gizmo may not be the sexiest product in the world, but at least it will put off the weird guy sat next to you on the plane.

Tricia Holly Davis, freelance journalist in Chicago

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