How many times have you dropped or scratched your phone? If you have more than one phone, you can bet you’ll drop your favorite and that the warranty has expired.
Now you have to go to your carrier to see what phones are on sale so that you can get one that you will probably drop again.
LG G Flex Testing
Enter the LG G Flex healing phone. When it was first introduced, LG made a video promo that demonstrated how the healing works, and was dubbed the Wolverine of smartphones. It claimed to erase scratches before your very eyes, and that was indeed the case.
Then, Marquees Brownlee tested the self-healing powers in a real-world setting. The first test he did was to scratch it with keys, which simulated what would happen in your pocket or purse, and within two minutes the scratches from the keys could barely be seen. In the last test, he took a knife and made a deep scratch across the back of the phone. Brownlee explains that the phone “half healed” itself after a few hours and you could barely see the scratch.
As explained by Brownlee, the phone’s healing properties work better in a warm environment. This explains why the scratches and marks completely disappeared in the manufacturer’s video because the temperature in the room was adjusted to a warmer temperature; however, Brownlee shows that they same effect can be given when rubbing the phone or increasing the temperature in various ways.
Apple’s Catching Up
The technology behind this enormously provocative feature is a self-healing coating. And now Apple has picked up the healing bug. They filed for a patent for a similar technology called “Systems and Methods for Preventing Light Guide Plate Scratching.” The patent states that the phone can be coated anywhere and that the material is capable of flowing. This means that when the material starts to flow into the scratches, they disappear, explains Wonderful Engineering.
Apple’s coating also seems to resemble Natoco’s Self Healing Cure (Polymer-alloy) technology in that it works off of a curling and the trampoline effect. The curling makes the screen so slippery that nothing can penetrate it, and the trampoline effect bounces the screen back to its original position. Furthermore, Apple’s patent states that the coating is so thick that nothing will penetrate through the screen.
What the Future Holds
Needless to say, this is a technology that uncoordinated people with slippery hands could really embrace. And even for the extra careful and highly coordinated people, this technology can still prevent accidents and wear and tear on the phone. It’s hard to say where the future will go, but this is a large step in producing more durable smartphones.
So what’s next? LG will need to stay ahead of Apple who is rumored to have plans to strengthen the fragile glass fronts of the phones as well. Wonderful Engineering reports that Apple will provide a casing with convex bumps on the glass so that it can absorb scratches. There also has been talking of Apple using sapphire glass, which would make them much more durable, says Forbes.
So after the cases and the glass, just think if they would invent a coating for when you drop the phone in the toilet.