Hacking An LCD Computer Monitor, Sunglasses, And Magic Glass Making Your Monitor "Anti-Spy" Device

by Jerrico_Usher

Kids get your parent's permission before trying this! Adults, this trick requires you to permanently alter the reality of your computer so use an old computer for this first!

Have you ever wanted to have a computer screen that nobody looking over your shoulder could decode? How about a way to leave your computer on and in standby mode (password screen) without turning the monitor off and nobody can use it because they can't see what the heck they're doing!

What about if your computer (laptop) is stolen and the thief can't use it, or better, you can track it without them trying to remove the theft protection GPS software! It's possible, and actually quite simple to do. Keep in mind this is a permanent solution that cannot be reversed easily (you may be able to replace the parts we'll cut up, but that's another article. Watch the video below to see the whole effect and how it's created, the rest of this article talks about application and the steps laid out statically for your convenience.

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If you're like me then you love the allure and intrigue of a good 007 trick you can use to create a powerful situation, or simply to do and dissect how cool it is to know something many don't even have a clue about! It's also a great way to show others how cleaver you are, and that you can do things they only watch on television or in movies!

Today I found such a cool concept that I wanted to share. I actually bookmarked this video 2 years ago and found it again today. The blog I saw the video on was just the video (I've embedded it into the video I created above and made it more fun to watch) - one or two lines of commentary. 

Above is the video showing the end result of this trick. I haven't tried it myself but I wanted to share it anyway, it's just... cool! I incorporated all the pictures of the process into the video and woke up the background...

Use At Your Own Risk

This is not a trick you can do and revert everything back to the way it was (if you make the glasses, not the magic glass I'll describe below) so do this with a spare laptop monitor or desktop LCD monitor but don't do it on a monitor you cherish unless you plant to permanently wear the glasses or want to use the magic glass trick. It's a great way to use a laptop outside because it's like putting the actual screen on your face without any negative effects like radiation or light pollution... with the glass trick you can toggle your screens state without glasses!

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 The Glass Trick

The Easier Of The Two Decoding Methods

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You can of course just remove the film without ripping it at all and use it like a magic window- you could even set it up like those screen glare covers you used to buy to make the screen easier to see (coating on this hang-over-the-monitor device made glare, aberrations, and distortions often go away and now with this trick it can make your monitors content- disappear without the magic decoder film- polarizing film)!

These often come tinted as well so it helps with glare on laptops out in the sun but also makes it harder to see what's on your screen when it is "loaded", due to the tinting (they have this glass in several shades of tint, the darker ones are called privacy glass. You have a lot of great options here.

I came to realize you can actually just remove the film intact. Take as long as you need, don't rush it, then using its own adhesive (use a razor blade to scrape below the glue if possible may take all day to get it off in tact to glue it to a hangover screen device (see amazon.com picture above).

Now you don't have a glasses powered display you have a basic on off switch for your monitor that is fool-proof (unless they figure out the trick and just grab polarizing film from another monitor and make one!

In essence you're taking the screen decoder out of the monitor and attaching it to an external hanging piece of glass/plastic and putting it on the opposite side of the monitors glass (the part you see through to the data).

This is essentially removing a film bonded behind your monitor's glass that polarizes the screen so you see distinctive visual information (I'm not even going to pretend to know anything about polarization, polarizing film, or even "how" this makes your screen white without it and HD with it). Without this film, a piece that mimics the size of your screen, your screen is a bright white nothing (like the construct in the matrix):

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Making The "Spy Glasses" For Decoding The Matrix

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This means you can make your monitor impossible for others to see unless, of course, they have special glasses like the ones you're going to build.

It's incredibly easy to do in fact I suspect a teenager uploaded the original video I rebuilt above. The part showing the glasses in action is from a Russian video that's years old and nobody really saw it, so I rebuilt it to include music, the steps and all that glitter... I wanted to breathe life into this idea because it's pretty cool.

(but for all intents and purposes, after you do this the monitor cannot be changed back because you are going to cut up the polarizing film to create your spy glasses)

These are only 3.00 (at the time I added it) and can easily hold your lens creations (giving you more creativity with the shape!
CinePro 1 Pair High Quality Circular Polarized Clip-On 3D Glasses for Disney Digital and RealD Mo...

Glasses for RealD 3D movies Jackass 3D Saw 3D Alpha & Omega Megamind and more Glasses for Disney Digital UP Alice in Wonderland Toy Story 3

3Dstereo Glasses
Only $3.50

View on Amazon

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Step 1: You Need A Monitor To Sacrifice

 Find an old LCD monitor (you can often find these at the Good Will or thrift stores. You should practice on a cheap monitor or laptop screen first before trying this on your good stuff.  You can also find a lot of great cheap computers in the paper, on eBay, and even free on craigslist.com or freecycle.com sites. On Freecycle once you get approved (it's a tedious process but just a day), you can just ask people if they have an old monitor to give you. The site is designed to keep things out of landfills by having people with crap they don't want and people with needs for that crap to converge.

You Will Need:

eBay has some great inexpensive (under 50.00 even) monitors you can use

HP LA2205wg 22" Widescreen LCD Monitor (used)

Time left: 17 hours, 24 minutes
Current bid: $10.50  Place bid

Dell S2715H Black 27" 6ms Widescreen LED Backlight LCD Monitor...

Time left: 11 hours, 8 minutes
Current bid: $115.50  Place bid

Lg 16.9 Wide Lcd Monitor W2053 Flatron 20"

Time left: 12 hours, 47 minutes
Current bid: $20.00  Place bid
Fixed price: $37.50  Buy It Now

Samsung SyncMaster P2570 25" Widescreen LCD Monitor 1080p

Time left: 10 hours, 53 minutes
Current bid: $100.00  Place bid
Fixed price: $130.00  Buy It Now
Unplug/Remove Your Monitor From The Case
Unplug/Remove Your Monitor From The Case
Remove The Backing of the Screen and gently pull apart  to get to the Polarizing Film
Remove The Backing of the Screen and gently pull apart to get to the Polarizing Film

 

Unscrew the back of the LCD monitor (usually 4 screws).

Pulling gently, take it apart.

Make sure to be patient here as there are often wires that may be hooked to the casing and could pull out if you jerk the screen apart.

Take your time here.

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Step 2: Removing The Polarizing Film

 Once you have the monitor separated you have access to the film. Most monitors contain two films one that blocks light you're not supposed to see (thus the blinding white light that blocks people from seeing the monitor- it's like staring into a flashlight really. The polarizing film will likely work only with the monitor that it came out of (specifically which company makes it and what technology they use makes a difference) and one that's an anti-glare technology often achieved through transparent "frosting".

Many companies use different polarizing film/filter technologies so this actually helps beef up security from those that would just tear apart any monitor to get the film and try to see it on your screen. It may or may not work!

The film in your monitor WILL work for use with this one, however, so no worries. You will have to make sure you orient the film correctly, meaning it has to be put in the glasses the same direction as it was on the screen or it won't work (blackness).

You don't need the anti-glare film (usually on the front side, but sometimes sandwiched together so be careful to check. It's the top most (from the inside) film you need to remove. 

A lot of the time the matrix is just put in there with a few dabs of adhesive on the corners (hopefully that's the case with yours) so it should be relatively easy to remove undamaged. If it does rip while your removing it no worries, the lenses are pretty small and you just need two pieces big enough to  fit into your glasses.

Remove The Backing of the Screen to get to the Polarizing Film (using a cutter cut the edges loose)
Remove The Backing of the Screen to get to the Polarizing Film (using a cutter cut the edges loose)
Slowly and Carefully Peel The Polarizing Film From The Back Of The Screen's Glass
Slowly and Carefully Peel The Polarizing Film From The Back Of The Screen's Glass

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Step 3: Dissolving The Glue

 In this step you've already removed the polarizing film and now you're left likely with some tough adhesive stuck in a few places. Just use paint thinner (fastest way) or Goo Gone (works but takes longer), to soften up the glue and scrape it off after a few minutes with a razor as not to scratch the glass (usually the glass is very scratch resistant).

Remove The Goo That Held The Film To The Screen Glass WIth Goo Gone
Remove The Goo That Held The Film To The Screen Glass WIth Goo Gone

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Step 4: Put The Monitor Back Together (less the film of course)

 Once you've removed the film and removed the glue traces left behind (can cause aberrations and distortions), next you just slam the thing back together again. When it's off it's a normal monitor- when it's on it's a flashlight in a blackout if hooked up to a power source.

Test the film by booting up your PC with monitor attached and hold the film in front of the monitor like the picture below:

Put it all back together and you'll notice Without the film all you see is a Bright White screen
Put it all back together and you'll notice Without the film all you see is a Bright White screen

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Step 6: Making Your 007 Glasses

 This step is a bit tricky if your not crafty but none the less should be easy enough. Taking a pair of sunglasses of your choice; I recommend if your going to use this on a laptop or public screen that you get some cool sunglasses for this or you'll look like a dork staring into a glaring white screen (and people will be intrigued! but for home use use the glass trick above or just grab some Real-D 3D throw away glasses.

Pop the lenses out and toss em unless this is a good pair of glasses (you can pop 'em back in later if you like). Using the lenses themselves cut out two lenses by using an exacto knife and the lens as the template shape. Cut them out so they exactly match the lenses size then pop them into the glasses as if they were the original lenses.

The film is a bit thin so you can opt to use glass glasses (prescription or otherwise) and somehow glue the film to the inside or outside of the glass and polish it. Inside is best as it's not going to raise suspicions. Many people walking by may not even notice they can't see your monitor- they may think they are seeing it from the wrong angle so it's blank.

Pop out the lenses of your cheap sunglasses (or any you wish to use) and use them to cut out a template of the lenses
Pop out the lenses of your cheap sunglasses (or any you wish to use) and use them to cut out a template of the lenses
Pop out the lenses
Pop out the lenses
remove the ear guards (what holds them on your head)
remove the ear guards (what holds the...
Trace The New Lens Out Of Polarizing Film
Trace The New Lens Out Of Polarizing Film
Glue the lenses in (they may fall out just because their too thin
Glue the lenses in (they may fall out just because their too thin

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Step 7: Enjoy The Fruits Of Your Labor

 Now your glasses should be ready, your computer put back together, and you've tested the film before building the glasses. The next move is yours- what will you do with this technology? Please please pleas share your ideas in the comments box- we'd love to hear them!

Voilla You Have Glasses That Can "Decode" The Screen For Your Eyes Only!
Voilla You Have Glasses That Can "Decode" The Screen For Your Eyes Only!

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Conclusion and Some More Ideas

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I hope you enjoyed this article and want to thank you for reading! Below are some ideas right off the top of my head (alternate ways to use this):

1. Monocle - How cool would it be to use a monocle (that one eye's glass like Teddy Roosevelt was famous for wearing). You could take the extra film after cutting out your glasses to create monocles for your guests you want "in on the screen". Great temporary solution to letting others see without giving up your glasses :). 

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2. When cutting out your glasses lenses try to utilize the film surface area size efficiently so you can  make other cool types of glasses. You can make sunglasses type lenses, monocles, you can even take a thick hair band (like they word in the 50's) and convert it into a Jordie La-Forge (star trek the next generation) set- show people how they work and that they work- be original and work the film into something really cool and futuristic... just don't attempt to make contact lenses out of the film- it WILL damage your eyes lol (just in case you weren't thinking clearly, coolness does that).

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3. For fun you could use this trick to create some spectacular effects. Instead of cutting the film up into lenses, you can cut it into a shape. That shape could then be put on the monitor (with tape?), and would make only that shape on the monitor visible- working with some artistic creativity you could creates a shape that would do one thing and an image on the screen that would in essence support the shape in some cool way. 

For example, let's say you have an old LCD flat screen monitor you want to convert into a digital picture frame of a new kind, like a shadow box you hang on the wall or set on a shelf somewhere. You place the monitor a bit off the shelf (on the wall maybe) and on the shelf you set a beautiful vase. The monitor could be covered by some masking technique (construction paper or what not) and made to look truly like magic glass in the wall (you could even sink it into the wall if you own the house). With this, you shape your film to trace out a bouquet of roses or something perfectly. You create the picture put it in the screen, cover it with the film and trace out the picture (I'd use an exacto knife but don't cut through just create an outline to cut later). 

When you turn on the monitor (could even be motion activated) then the flowers would appear but around them just white space- so a white wall would be perfect... 

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4. How about putting a picture on transparent paper (like they use in school overhead projectors) and taping it over the monitor that's sunk into a wall or even an old desk or a display you build. The monitor would be a clunky digital frame but it's not hard to blend it into coolness with some creativity and crafty work. What this does is make the picture, something that would work well on a white backdrop, but that is thin enough throughout to see right through it if anything were behind it.

On the monitor you'd have another picture or even a movie running. People would see the cool digital frame but would think it a static picture on a white background. You can explain away the monitor looking part as a postmodern art form :).

When someone wore the glasses, however, the foreground will become the background as your interest forces your focus behind it. It would be a great way to surprise a lover on valentine's day. They could see the "flowers" in the previous example, only when wearing the glasses which could be something altogether different, i.e. build a romance filter. Make up some romantic gibberish about how she is the only one out there who truly sees you, knows you, understands you, then tell her to look through the glasses at a video you make of the two of you, or simply see the flowers appear out of thin air!

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5. Your ideas?

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Want more? Try Real Spy (camera/DVR built in) Glasses!
Updated: 01/04/2013, Jerrico_Usher
 
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sarah on 02/09/2016

i have removed the polarizing layer
i can see through it only wen this layer is placed so close to the monitor or else it gets blurred.
It become more blurred and unclear wen the distance increases..so i 'm not able to make glasses and use it.
can u pls help me to solve this

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