In context: Modern smartphones are light years ahead of old-school flip phones, but that hasn't come without a cost. iPhones and Android devices alike both suffer from durability issues when dropped -- even the toughest Gorilla Glass is likely to scratch or dent from small falls. Fortunately, Apple has a solution, of sorts: an iPhone with the ability to repair minor damage all by itself.
A patent application published yesterday -- but filed way back in March of 2019 -- describes a foldable smartphone that can bend vertically, like a book.
Functionally, it sounds like it would resemble a Galaxy Fold, though it would obviously have a much more Apple-like design if it ever hit the market. More important than that, though, is the self-repair functionality we mentioned before. According to the application, the phone may have an elastomer cover layer with "self-healing properties."
The self-healing process could be "initiated or expedited" by external sources, such as heat, light, electric current, or a different type of stimulus. This concept is certainly exciting, though we should note that patent applications are rarely set in stone. In many cases, companies simply use them as a means to lock down ideas and prevent their competitors from using them.
In other words, don't expect to see a self-repairing iPhone on the streets anytime soon. If there's ever even a hint that this idea might become a reality, though, we'll certainly let you know.