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Apple invents self-healing tech that could give iPhones the most gorgeous displays in the world

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:46PM EST
iPhone 6 Display

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At this point, we know with near-certainty that the iPhone 6 will feature a bigger display. What remains to be seen, however, is how much better the display will actually be. A recent report claimed that Apple will put a new spin on quantum dot technology that will have a dramatic impact on the quality of the iPhone 6’s screen, but we won’t know anything for certain until the new handset is unveiled. In the meantime, information surrounding a recent Apple invention has just surfaced that could give future iPhones and other Apple devices some of the most gorgeous displays in the world.

As noted by Patently Apple, the United States Patent & Trademark Office recently published an Apple patent application titled “Systems and Methods for Preventing Light Guide Plate Scratching Artifacts.”

Here’s a quote from the background information Apple supplied in the patent application:

Electronic displays commonly appear in electronic devices such as televisions, computers, and phones. LCD pixels do not produce their own light. Rather, a backlight unit lights the LCD pixels from behind. The backlight unit may include a light source, a light guide plate, and a diffuser. The light source emits light into the light guide plate, which distributes the light across the diffuser. The diffuser diffuses the light into the LCD. Since the materials that form the light guide plate and the diffuser may stick to one another, a binder material and beads may be placed between the light guide plate and the diffuser to perform an anti-wetting function. During vibration reliability testing or certain real-world use cases, however, the beads could scratch the light guide plate. When the beads scratch the light guide plate, undesirable display screen artifacts appearing as white spots may occur.

In layman’s terms, Apple’s new technology could potentially offer a solution that completely eliminates the artifacts and imperfections in displays. These artifacts (which are much more pronounced on larger screens such as TVs) are often created when the lighting behind a display panel gets scratched, and Apple’s addition of a self-healing layer has the potential to eliminate these artifacts.

The imperfections targeted by Apple’s new patent are minute individually, but together they can have a significant impact on the viewing experience. By eliminating them with a self-healing layer that protects a screen’s backlight, future iPhones, iPads and even Mac computers could have some of the smoothest and most beautiful displays in the world.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.