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Cellphones Medicine Science Technology

Scientists Invent Smartphone Screen Material That Can Repair Its Own Scratches (ibtimes.co.uk) 55

drunkdrone quotes a report from International Business Times: Researchers say they have developed a new material that could pave the way for self-repairing smartphones, robots and other electronic devices. Scientists from the American Chemical Society claim that the material, which can stretch up to 50 times its usual size, is able to heal itself "like nothing has happened" even when cut in two. The material is flexible, transparent and shares similar properties to human skin. When exposed to electrical signals, a current is generated that creates a chemical bonding reaction between molecules. The most obvious applications for electronics devices seems to be self-healing displays, although lead researcher Dr Chao Wang is also exploring the possibility of a self-healing lithium-ion battery. While the technology is similar to the hydrogen-infused rear cover found on the LG G Flex, which allows for small scratches to be healed, the material developed by the American Medical Society is a completely new innovation that can "automatically stitch itself back together" within one day of being sliced into pieces. The team will present its research at a Tuesday meeting of the American Chemical Society, according to Business Insider.
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Scientists Invent Smartphone Screen Material That Can Repair Its Own Scratches

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  • Well... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Can it at least be bargained with?


    • it can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with....

      it doesn't understand pity....or remorse.....or fear....

      and it absolutely will not stop.....EVER.....until you are dead
      • it can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with.... it doesn't understand pity....or remorse.....or fear.... and it absolutely will not stop.....EVER.....until you are dead

        Not to be picky, but that was said about the original Arnie Terminator, not the self-repairing one in Terminator 2 played by Robert Patrick.

        • by gnick ( 1211984 )

          Are you implying that with the T2 revision, they installed the ability to be bargained and reasoned with, an understanding of pity, remorse, and fear, and programmed it to eventually stop even if I'm not dead?

      • you forgot: Resistance is futile!
    • by mjwx ( 966435 )
      In 2035, on the cusp of losing the war Apple deployed an advanced protoype i1000 back to 1982, its job, to kill Richard Stallman whilst he was still a bearded activist.
  • In theory, use this on humanoid robots and they could become self-healing.

  • If they can cut the material into pieces and then have it "stitch" itself together, then can it be expected to fix cracks?

    I rarely see problem scratches on phone displays, but I often see cracked glass that people are trying to keep going until they can get a new phone - what happens in this situation?

    The other question I would have is does this material work with capacitive displays?

    myke

    • by David_Hart ( 1184661 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @02:07AM (#54175979)

      If they can cut the material into pieces and then have it "stitch" itself together, then can it be expected to fix cracks?

      I rarely see problem scratches on phone displays, but I often see cracked glass that people are trying to keep going until they can get a new phone - what happens in this situation?

      The other question I would have is does this material work with capacitive displays?

      myke

      The question that I have is just how hard this new material is? The reason why gorilla glass does so well against scratches is because of it's hardness index. A material that can heal itself with a charge would, by definition, be relatively soft and thus scratched more often.

      Also, they don't go into what happens to dirt and oils that might be on the material and in the cracks/scratches. Does it force it out (i.e. repair from below), or does it heal over top of it? This is important because if it heals over top of dirt, etc. then the scratch may go away but eventually the screen will become permanently dirty. This is fine for case materials but I don't see it working well for screens.

  • this is cool...

    this is real, valuable R&D research

    imho, companies spend way too much on marketing and not enough on R&D

    • by Wulf2k ( 4703573 )

      Maybe you just don't hear enough about all the R&D because they're not paying enough to their marketing department. ...It could happen.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    1. Get a bit of this material

    2. Cut into shape of a dick

    3. Put on friend's phone

    4. Zap until the dick "heals" into the screen

    5. Screen now has permanent dick bulge

  • by Misagon ( 1135 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @01:48AM (#54175943)

    The big issue for adoption is... what other things will it bond to in the user's pocket?

    According to TFA, this is a very flexible material. I have seen cell phone cases made of flexible silicone - they attract lint and dust as if the phone had been covered with double-sided tape.

  • The Galaxy Note 7 had this...... the fire usually got so hot, it would melt the glass. No scratches left after that.

    Yeah, sure, there were a few downsides, but there usually are with prototypes.

  • You have any idea how much mobile device companies would lose from this? Car windshields? I kinda call bs on some of its applications because you'd still have to have the right equipment to do the repairing anyway, to which a 3rd party would void your warranty if a 3rd party could legally do the repair in the first place (cough cough Apple). So, if anything thing, phone makers save money on not buying glass and you still pay outrageous prices for something being labeled as "space-aged." The new "Velcro" or
  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @03:59AM (#54176229)

    Apply this to glasses as an alternative scratch coating, and use 2-part metal frames. Supply a simple "healing" cradle to put the glasses on at night.

    Never have scratched lenses again.

    Fuck the damn iphone. This would be fantastic in eye-wear.

    • Apply this to glasses as an alternative scratch coating, and use 2-part metal frames. Supply a simple "healing" cradle to put the glasses on at night.

      Never have scratched lenses again.

      Fuck the damn iphone. This would be fantastic in eye-wear.

      Not a paid shill by any means, but I opted for Crizal coating on my glasses many years ago. I've never had a scratch on my lenses since, and like the usual eyeglass wearer, that's 2-3 years of use and abuse per pair.

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2017 @05:54AM (#54176457)

    Scientists invent an amazing material that can easily repair itself, and the best application we can think of, is on a device that gets thrown away and replaced every other year.

    This is like finding a cure for cancer and choosing to cure cows with it, just so we can turn them into hamburger.

    I guess there is an upside. Snow Flake won't have to worry about a scratch on her precious cell phone marring her narcissistic shell.

    • Snow Flake won't have to worry about a scratch on her precious cell phone marring her narcissistic shell.

      Yeah! You tell those cell phone using cucks! With their participation trophies and whatnot! Right guys??!!??!!

      Take it down a notch, would you? Commercialism drives innovation, which means that developments that have a viable, marketable commercial application are the ones that get funding. There will be other applications for this cool new material. There's no reason to get mad about it being used

  • It'll feel like I'm tapping out characters on a display with flexible human skin stretched over it?
  • And during a thunderstorm, we find that all of our phones have fused together. The point is: unless this material can be CONTROLLED, we may find that any stray electrical energy will caused unexpected results that we may not find pleasing.

    • Or better, don't leave this phone touching the screen of your significant other's phone or you'll get a fused screen worthless double brick.
  • Will it be infused to your device when you wake up?

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