Apple Planning A Foldable iPhone With A ‘Self-Healing’ Display
A patent application published yesterday by Apple reveals an idea for a foldable iPhone that would include a “self-healing” display cover that would allow the device to repair the screen covering dents or scratches. The submission, which was initially filed by Apple in January, was patently detected by Apple.
Apple last month reportedly ordered a large number of prototypes of Samsung foldable phone displays. This, combined with a recently spotted self-repair screen patent filing, suggests that the company imagines how a foldable iPhone will look and function.
It is filed at the end of January and circulated on the USPTO (via 9to5Mac) this Thursday, the patent application provides an interesting way to fix the damage caused to foldable displays-maybe iPhone displays.
As Apple wrote in the patent application, the display of the suggested concept would allow the computer to fix itself without the user having to interfere manually. Theoretically, the self-healing of the foldable may automatically be triggered, such as when the gadget is being charged or on a fixed schedule, and a protective layer above the screen will be repaired using heat, light, or electric current.
The patent solicitation also states that the screen cover of the hypothetical device may include a layer of elastomer that can lose and regain its shape to keep the device’s sensitive inner workings protected. Theoretically, the material for this concept would make the overall cover of the foldable display more durable.
The basic technology for self-healing has been seen in at least one smartphone already.
Several tech companies, including Samsung and Motorola, are already producing various types of foldable phones, but the self-healing feature proposed by Apple will add a distinctive spin to these devices. The first Samsung take on this type of foldable handset, the Galaxy Fold, suffered from problems with the display screen’s durability. After numerous review units failed in firm succession, the phone was delayed, something my colleague Dieter Bohn faced in his review unit.
In at least one smartphone already, LG’s G Flex of 2013, basic self-healing technology has been seen. It had a self-healing cover that was envisioned to patch slight scrapes, such as a knife scratch. It wasn’t that successful, though: it could not recover from the main scratch during our testing, with our reviewer comparing it to Wolverine if he could only heal from “paper cuts and nothing else.”
There is no sign that Apple will soon if at all, announce a foldable phone with self-healing equipment. But foldable iPhones are something that Apple looks for experimenting with for years, with other patent applications demonstrating mockups of what a foldable iPhone would look like should it ever come to fruition.
It appears that if the display cover of a phone-using Apple’s special coating-is damaged, whether scratched, dented, or cracked, then the coating material will fill the defective areas on its own. When heat, light, or electricity is applied, this self-healing mechanism may also be triggered.
For this self-healing screen technology to work, the company suggested that a phone’s display cover must be made of plastic, glass, or some other transparent material. The Apple patent specifically discussed the use of transparent conductors in a display cover to form the heating layer.