When most of the smartphone companies are engaged in developing bendable screen or durable glass enclosures, it seems like Motorola is working on a screen that can repair itself. A recently published patent application reveals the power of shape memory polymers that are capable to recover large deformation/stain through thermal cycling.
The patent discloses an electronic device with a shape-memory polymer in the form of a fascia. The fascia has one or more adjacent thermal elements and also one or more processors with corresponding thermal elements. These processors are capableof detecting any facia deformation and also cause the thermal element to apply heat to reverse the deformation on the facia.
These shape-memory polymers are stimuli-responsive materials which means that if external stimuli are applied to its deformed surface, it will trigger the heat application. The heat application will reverse some or all deformation to return the original smooth state of the shape-memory polymers. The ability to respond to external stimuli has given a new meaning to this invention.
The patent doesn’t claim to resolve all deformation but fixes most of it. It is clear that Motorola with this patent has explored a new market area where companies are not eager to fix the issue of smartphone’s screen damage.