After a fall or friction with keys in a pocket or bag, your smartphone has scratches on the surface of its screen. Motorola wants to put an end to all those expensive smartphone screen repairs.
The company was thinking about a day where phones can heal their own cracks. So, recently on the 16th of august 2017, they applied for a patent on a phone screen that can heal its own cracks and damages.
This patent US20170228094A1 was filed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), it describe a screen made from a “shape memory polymer”.
This screen would have “thermal elements” in it that could detect deformations in the screen.
This thermal cycling involves changing the temperature of the material rapidly. In other words, this material is stretchable and transparent, it conducts ions to generate current and could one day help your broken smartphone go back together again.
How does it work?
The handset displays a notification and proposes to initiate an automatic repair procedure. It is then sufficient to surround with finger the damaged area (s) and the device repairs the damage automatically. Moments later, the screen is like new!
This material could be used over an LCD or LED display with a capacitive touch sensor layered in, as well. Although the phone could heat the polymer in order to restore it, a user’s body heat can be used, too.
In addition to that, the smartphone incorporates a system of resistors capable of emitting the heat necessary to trigger healing. Attractive on paper, this device nevertheless raises important questions related to security.
The following figure illustrates one explanatory method in accordance with one or more embodiments of the disclosure.
Actually, we ignore how often the shape memory polymer required to be heated to operate and if the user can manipulate the mobile during the self-repair phase. In addition, we can also wonder about the impact of this system on the battery.
Indeed, any overheated makes a risk of combustion, maybe an explosion under the effect of thermal embalming.
The idea of a self-repairing polymer compatible with smartphone screens has already been tested successfully in the laboratory. But from the lab to the finished product, there is a huge step to take.
Kenza, Consultant, Leyton France