Motorola is looking forward to a future where phones can heal their own cracks. Through a patent filed by the company, we finally got some deets on how we can say goodbye to expensive screen replacements.
According to the patent, a phone screen’s “shape memory polymer” can heal minor damages when it’s subjected to heat. Either through an app, body heat, a dock, or a plug-in panel, rapid changes in heat will trigger the material to deform and then recover. This can be used over a typical LCD or LED display with a touch sensor built in — just like your everyday phone.
The company is already invested in giving shatter-resistant displays through the Moto Z Force line of smartphones, but there’s always a catch. For the display to be tough against drops, it has to be made or layered with a plastic protector, which feels cheap and gets scratched easily. The same thing can be said about the polymer; however, rugged devices would greatly benefit from this scientific miracle.
Before we get our hopes up, remember that this is just a patent application — there’s no guarantee when this will materialize for consumers. And if it does, it still won’t fully restore the screen’s strength. A brand new display is always better, but at least we don’t have to worry about sudden expenses just because we’re clumsy or plain unlucky.