Apple Inc has granted a patent that describes “self-healing” technology devices like foldable smartphones. The patent described ways of healing and mitigating damage when this can be done on a foldable smartphone. Apple said that the foldable smartphone might have a hinge that can allow it to be flexible on a bend axis.
We have seen other bendable smartphones, but Apple is facilitating the bending of the device without damage to a bend axis. The iPhone is trying to work on the technology so that displays can heal the inevitable tear and wear. Apple has been investigating for five years a foldable smartphone and the display where the screen can be rolled up or bent.
Now finally, a new patent suggested how to minimize the damage. “Electronic Devices With Flexible Display Cover Layers” proposes mixing rigid and flexible areas for a display and utilizing what Apple calls “self-healing.”
There are more than 11,000 words and 147 references on the patent that describes what self-healing would do on a device but very little detail about how to achieve this goal.
“An electronic device may have a hinge that allows the device to be flexed about a bend axis,” says Apple’s patent.
According to the patent, the display of the device would span the bend axis, and the display might include a display cover layer with a flexible portion. “A display may span the bend axis. The display may include a display cover layer with a flexible portion to facilitate bending about the bend axis without damage.”
Foldable Smartphone Display
Apple indicated that the display of the device could stretch over the whole device, and it might be made up of three elements. One would be the flexible part that connects two regular fixed screens like other Samsung foldable smartphones.
Apple also stated that the flexible display could also be scratched, “During operation of an electronic device, the display cover layer for the electronic device may be scratched or dented.” To make the phone more aesthetic, the presence of dents or scratches must be minimized.
Apple further stated that there might be a self-healing material to mitigate the number of scratches or dents, “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.”
Apple explained that the flexible layer on display might have a layer of elastomer that is a healing element on the device.
The elastomer can be scratched, but it will return to its original shape. Basically, the self-healing idea indicates that the foldable smartphone display will be able to return to a previous shape with heat, like body heat.
Apple stated about the foldable smartphone display, “The heating layer may be used to generate heat in response to user input, according to a predetermined schedule, or when the electronic device is charging.”
Some layers on a foldable smartphone’s screen would protect the screen, especially when it bends. “A device may be folded (bent by 180 degrees or another suitable amount) about the bend axis,” stated Apple. Apple further explained the outside foldable display “so that the display is visible from the outside of the device in its folded state.” Even an Apple foldable smartphone could give a notification if it is shut.