Folding iPhone Could Feature a Self-Healing Display

Foldable iPhoneFoldable iPhone

It is no secret that smartphone manufacturers are coming up with new and improved smartphones with foldable displays. Samsung already offers Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Z Flip foldable display smartphones. Previous patent applications have indicated that Apple, too, might be working on a foldable iPhone. A new patent describes how the foldable iPhone could “heal” itself from wear and tear during use.

Apple has been working on foldable devices for many years. The biggest challenge with a foldable display is durability issues. Foldable devices in the market already suffer from a lack of durability. Apple is said to be working on durability so that the display doesn’t crack or get damaged due to folding cycles.

The patent application describes how damage can be minimized as and when it happens. The patent is titled “Electronic Devices With Flexible Display Cover Layers” and explains how “the display may include a display cover layer with a flexible portion.”

The flexible portion of the display cover layer may be interposed between first and second rigid portions of the display cover layer. The display cover layer may also include a layer with self-healing properties. The layer of self-healing material may be formed across the entire display cover layer or may be formed only in the flexible region of the display cover layer. The display cover layer may include a layer of elastomer in the flexible region of the display cover layer for increased flexibility.

Furthermore, the pace of the self-healing process can be increased by “externally applied heat, light, electric current or other stimuli.” Apple suggests the display will be made up of three parts, including two regular displays, one fixed screen, and the rotating mechanism.

During the operation of an electronic device, the display cover layer for the electronic device may be scratched or dented. To improve the aesthetics of the electronic device, it may be desirable for the presence of scratches and dents to be minimized. To help mitigate the number of dents, scratches, or other imperfections in a display cover layer, the display cover layer may include a layer of self-healing material.

In other words, certain layers are the display while the others are there to protect the display. It is not very clear as to how a self-healing display can be produced. The patent suggests healing process can be scheduled at regular intervals or when the device is charging.

[via USPTO]

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