Motorola patent describes the self-healing smartphone screen of our dreams

midian182

Posts: 6,173   +51
Staff member

A cracked screen is a nightmare scenario that many smartphone owners have faced, so wouldn’t it be great if there was a handset that could repair the damage itself? Based on a recently published patent, Motorola could already be working on the technology.

The US Patent and Trademark Office documents show how the process uses “shape memory polymer,” a material that can repair damage by reshaping itself through thermal cycling (rapidly changing its temperature).

The heat used to fix the material, which could be applied over the top of a LCD or LED display, might be generated by the phone itself. Motorola envisions using an app that can analyze the screen and detect where repairs are required. It might also be possible to use a dock, plug-in panel, or even the owner’s body heat for the process.

It will likely be necessary for larger repairs to take place overnight, which is where the docks and panels that provide the required extra power come in.

Using the polymer display is unlikely to feel as satisfying as a standard glass touchscreen, of course. And it will probably only be able to fix itself a certain number of times. The biggest caveat is, as with all patents, there’s no guarantee that Motorola will ever develop this screen-repairing technology. And even if it does, it will be years before it appears.

This wouldn’t be the first time such a material has been used in smartphones. LG’s G Flex 2 featured second-generation self-healing polymers on its rear panel, though the front was glass. When it was scratched or lightly damaged, the coating could repair itself in around 10 seconds at room temperature. The original G Flex had a similar rear coating, but it took hours to fix scratches.

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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,586   +6,103
I cannot remember where it was but about 5 years ago there was a similar claim for a different purpose ... self healing plastic of some sort .....
 

Skidmarksdeluxe

Posts: 8,645   +3,286
I cannot remember where it was but about 5 years ago there was a similar claim for a different purpose ... self healing plastic of some sort .....
Yeah, I think it was on a LG device. The screen couldn't 'uncrack' itself if it got cracked but it would heal itself from minor scratches. I wonder why this tech didn't show up in more devices...
 
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flyboydale54

Posts: 31   +4
Now I ask everyone this. I remember in Information Technology Computer Networking Systems classes, we were warned about ever dragging our fingers over the end of a fiber optic glass cable. We were warned it could be deadly to have a sliver of the glass enter our fingers which can cause death or very serious injuries to internal organs. So here is my thoughts on those foolish individuals dragging their fingers over a cracked glass cellphone screen. I smell a lawsuit because these phone manufacturing companies did not warn the public about the seriousness of continuing to use their cellphones with cracked glass. Also, in the malls, there are people who replace your broken glass and are exposing people walking by or leaning on their counters where these repairs are made. Just how serious is that? Get a good attorney, and sue.
 

deemon

Posts: 312   +100
I remember in Information Technology Computer Networking Systems classes, we were warned about ever dragging our fingers over the end of a fiber optic glass cable. We were warned it could be deadly to have a sliver of the glass enter our fingers which can cause death or very serious injuries to internal organs.
Maybe it was just a ghost story for you children, so you didn't smear the cable with your dirty fingers?
Also today usually the cables are made out of plastic, not glass.