We’ve all been there — you’re scrolling through Reddit on your brand new smartphone, you put it down to help bring in the groceries and as you walk away, you knock it on the floor, shattering the display. Alright, maybe we haven’t all been there, but we’ve definitely heard the horror stories and most of us take special precautions to make sure it doesn’t happen to us.
But what if you never had to worry about your screen cracking again? You’re probably already aware that Motorola recently released the Moto Z2 Force (win one here!) with its ShatterShield technology. Moto claims that ShatterShield displays are almost unbreakable, but something better might be coming. Patents filed with the US Patent Office show that Motorola might be working on a self-healing display.
You read that right, a self-healing display.
These new displays won’t be made out of the glass you commonly see on phones today. Instead, it’ll use a “shape memory polymer.” Thermal elements will be integrated into the coating over the glass (otherwise known as the fascia) that will let it heal cracks when heat is applied. That means your own body heat might be able to heal your phone’s cracked screen one day.
The patent goes on to say that the shape memory polymer will be able to repair “at least a portion” of the fascia to reverse “some” of the deformation. It sounds like the display won’t return to its previous perfect state, but it’ll at least be usable.
Don’t get your hopes up about seeing this anytime soon. Patents like this are normally filed years in advance of when we see them on consumer devices.