Polarized Sunglasses block TomTom Screen!

Discussion in 'Technical Support' started by catclaw, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. catclaw

    catclaw

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    Polarized sun glasses block the picture from the TomTom. You cannot see the screen if you are wearing polarized sun glasses. Rotate the TomTom 90 degrees or so and the picture becomes very readable, but what a crummy way to look at the TomTom.

    Try it out and (don't) see. TomTom sez they use polarization to improve the picture--- big mistake. How in the devil do you see a TomTom with polarized eye glasses in New Mexico when they have blocked out the picture unless you rotate the screen 90 degrees?? Somebody had their head up their shirt.
     
    catclaw, Jul 17, 2010
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  2. catclaw

    mikealder Moderator

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    That must be an early TomTom PND you are using as the newer units are certainly viewable through polarized lenses, you can rotate the device through 90 degrees then use the Change Preferences/ Rotate screen option to put the screen the right way up, the older units had the option to rotate the screen oriantation - Mike
     
    mikealder, Jul 18, 2010
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  3. catclaw

    canderson Moderator

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    He posted the same thing in another thread. Whether or not he will be able to view the screen will depend upon the orientation (polarization) of his sun glasses. LCD screens are by nature polarized (that's how they work internally to block and pass the light of the reflective surface or backlight). If his glasses just happen to be 90 degrees off normal, poof. No screen. My glasses happen to be happy with my TomTom. His glasses are evidently the less common orientation. Based upon how often it actually works out (far more than 50% of the time), I'm guessing the industry made some decisions about this early on, but that no everyone is playing by the rules.

    Life's tough. Like I said elsewhere, an LCD screen is a good test to see if those new Chinese made sunglasses you just bought are really polarized :p

    There are comments on this phenomenon on boards that deal with just about all current electronics ... camcorders, phones, etc. Usually, everything works fine due to cooperation in orientation, but if you have to turn something 90 degrees, even the "normal" glasses vs. "normal" devices cause issues:

    LCD screens and polarized sunglasses
     
    canderson, Jul 18, 2010
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  4. catclaw

    catclaw

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    The case of the invisible TomTom: Polarized Sun Glasses

    The TomTom that cannot be seen, only heard is a brand new 140s. I read that Garmin does not use polarized lenses. I cannot see how a device made to be primarily used in a car would be designed to not be visible if the person is wearing polarized glasses unless the sun never shines where they live.

    The decision for the orientation of the polarized glasses must take priority over the Tomtom as safety trumps. The polarized light from the highway is typically oriented in the axis the glasses block, I think. What is the logic of the Tomtom screen using the the same orientation? Is it to sell more voices??

    My new Tomtom is a big disappointment because it does not have a screen that is viewable unless it is turned on its edge. Maybe I'll just start doing all my driving at night.
     
    catclaw, Jul 20, 2010
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  5. catclaw

    canderson Moderator

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    Unless they quit using LCD displays, I'm afraid that's not possible.

    Sounds like an unfortunate match-up of glasses to display. In the other thread you started on this topic here, I posted some notes from other people who have similar problems with other types of devices and their specific sunglasses.

    Again, it while it is an issue of the specific polarity of the screen and the sunglasses, it's NOT whether they're using polarized materials to begin with. That's how LCD displays work. Without that, they'd either be black or white.

    I got a chuckle out of this comment (not!) posted elsewhere. No wonder they're falling over in New Jersey!

    Polarized glasses are great, but some screens may be difficult if not impossible to read with them on.

    I was a crane operator most of my working career and I couldn't wear my Maui Jim's...the computer screen for the LMI turned black with polarized lenses.
    Otherwise, they can be a huge relief for your eyes.

    That's pretty much the only downside. I love mine for driving but I have to take them off to read the gas pump.


    Point being, it's an interaction with specific sunglasses and a specific device. Some sunglasses seem to be polarized such that most screens aren't an issue. Some are a train wreck for individual applications.

    Then there's this

    They make it harder to read my phone. And window tint in cars usually looks like a rainbow, a bit annoying.

    and this

    I wish I knew about the rainbow effect before I bought my Juliet X-Metal's but at this point I really don't notice it much anymore, but it does depend on what you look at through the tint sometimes.

    and this


    I have some polarized Maui Jims and they too do effect how some LCDs are seen. I have a Heads Up Display in my car and when wearing my Maui Jims I can't see the HUD on the windshield.

    The net is full of anecdotal information of people running into problems with all kinds of LCD screens with polarized glasses. It's a trade-off, and anyone buying a pair should, whenever possible, actually view their favorite device(s) with them on in the lot before buying. You never know how a specific combination will play out.

     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
    canderson, Jul 21, 2010
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  6. catclaw

    Dave Burton

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    This happens to me, too, with my TomTom XXL 550.

    When I put on my new clip-on polarized sunglasses (from Zenni), I noticed that it became very hard to see the screen on my TomTom XXL 550M. When I rotated the sunglasses, the screen brightened up. It looks best with the sunglasses rotated 90 degrees.

    Apparently TomTom made the mistake of using a display which outputs horizontally polarized light, which is the same polarization as glare from water and windshields, so the display is blocked by (vertically) polarized sunglasses.

    Oops! That's a design flaw.

    One caveat: I had to replace the digitizer (the touch-sensitive overlay) on my TomTom, with one that I bought from eBay seller fuboliya in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China. But I'm pretty sure it's not the digitizer that polarizes the light. (Aside: don't attempt a digitizer replacement unless you're good at soldering.)

    Hey, TomTom, please don't make this mistake again! Your displays need to output vertically polarized light (perpendicular to the glare from water and windshields), so that drivers can see their GPSs when wearing polarized sunglasses.
     
    Dave Burton, Mar 2, 2014
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  7. catclaw

    Shalom

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    I've run into this myself, with a 1530 and my sun clips (Cargo C5018, I think the mfg is Aspex). Funny thing is,this one seems to be diagonally polarized... with the clips on, the picture on the LCD is dim but legible. If I tilt my head 45° to the left, it's as bright as if I'm not wearing the clips, but if I tilt to the right the screen blacks out altogether.
     
    Shalom, Mar 3, 2014
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  8. catclaw

    canderson Moderator

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  9. catclaw

    BigNorm

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    TomTom Model(s):
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    I own a number of units, including two identical Rider 400s, and one has this problem, and the other does not.

    While I agree that this is caused when the polarization of the glasses and the TomTom are not aligned, the problem is caused by the fact that TomTom does not apply their polarization consistency. I've worn dozens upon dozens of polarized glasses, and the polarization on all of them is applied so as to block the glare of the sun as it bounces off surfaces such as water, roads, etc. While TomTom should have applied their polarization in the same orientation, they have not.

    Most of them are correct, but a significant minority of them are not. I have a guess as to why the inconsistency exists, but that's irrelevant. The problem is caused by TomTom, and not the sunglasses manufacturers who understand that polarization would be largely useless if the orientation were opposite of what it is.
     
    BigNorm, Jul 5, 2019
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  10. catclaw

    canderson Moderator

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    Now, imagine a GPS device that is designed to be rotated in use for either portrait or landscape orientations. What then?
     
    canderson, Jul 5, 2019
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  11. catclaw

    BigNorm

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    1) I have to imagine it because mine does not.

    2) I may like the orientation of the screen as it is without having to employ a workaround that limits the flexibility of my unit.

    3) I'd rather TomTom had manufactured their units more thoughtfully such that the polarization orientation of all of them was consistent with 99.9999% of all of the polarized sunglasses ever made.
     
    BigNorm, Jul 5, 2019
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  12. catclaw

    canderson Moderator

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    I mention it because I have two TomTom devices that are fully capable of 90 degree auto-rotation of the image when the device is alternately oriented in portrait/landscape.
     
    canderson, Jul 5, 2019
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  13. catclaw

    BigNorm

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    Great, but mine doesn't have that capability.
     
    BigNorm, Jul 5, 2019
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  14. catclaw

    canderson Moderator

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    ??? You own one of the few TomTom devices (Rider) that does allow rotation of 90 degrees to change the landscape/portrait aspect.
     
    canderson, Jul 6, 2019
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  15. catclaw

    BigNorm

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    TomTom Model(s):
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    Yes. I own 2 Riders that don't even have a number after the model. Look it up. SN starts with K4. :)
     
    BigNorm, Jul 6, 2019
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  16. catclaw

    canderson Moderator

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    I see Rider 400 and Rider 550 in your profile on the left there. You'll have to excuse me as I assumed that information to be complete and correct.
     
    canderson, Jul 6, 2019
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  17. catclaw

    BigNorm

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    Actually, that was my error. It's a senior thing.
     
    BigNorm, Jul 6, 2019
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  18. catclaw

    canderson Moderator

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    Your 400 should start with KA. Your 550 should be KG, if memory serves. We keep a rather comprehensive list of them so we can help people figure out which model they own.

    Anyway, those models offer the option of rotating the device/mount, and I know a few riders who like theirs in portrait mode to see more 'ahead' than side to side.

    Ideally, such devices would have some sort of 45 degree polarization -- not perfect for everyone, but not a disaster for anyone, either. Wish they made any of them that way.
     
    canderson, Jul 6, 2019
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