The patent, which was filed in February and awarded last week, explains how a phone screen made out of shape memory polymer could heal itself. The screen would have “thermal elements” in it that could detect deformations in the screen. Then heat would be applied to the memory polymer screen as the solution to reversing the damage that has been done.
According to the patent, the heat reaction on the polymer screen can’t promise to fix all of the damages caused by users’ clumsy behavior. But it will fix as much as it can.
But before you get too excited, remember that this is just a patent application. The patent hasn’t actually been granted to Motorola, yet. And even if it is, it’s not a sure thing that Motorola will ever actually create the self-healing screen.
There are also some questions involved if the patent really is approved and manufacturing moves ahead on the project. How will this memory polymer look and feel compared to the glass phone screens that we’ve become accustomed to. Also, what will the price tag on this look like? Not having to take your phone in for a repair every time you drop it could be a real money saver, but is it going to cost a lot more up front to get that technology?
Whatever happens, this looks like a step in the right direction for mobile phones. Self-healing screens could be an absolute game changer for all the uncoordinated folks out there. Just image a day when your heart doesn’t drop as your pricey phone plummets down to the concrete sidewalk. That sounds pretty nice.