In the not too distant future, iPhones may be equipped with technology that can detect damage to the display. This week Apple would have filed the patent for this system which, once detected cracks or transmission interruptions, would alert the user.
Apple patents crack detection technology for iPhone displays
Raise your hand if you have (or have had) an iPhone and have never found any damage to the display. If you have your hand down you are a very lucky being. Or you lie. Many users, unless the damage is far-reaching, tend not to replace the display. On the one hand, there are clear economic reasons, while on the other hand there is also the hassle of bringing your device for assistance. However, it may happen that the crack or lesion is so small that it is not even noticed by the owner. Any damage to the display, however small, can damage the entire device and, over time, even the smallest crack is bound to deteriorate and get worse..
To avoid all this Apple would be experimenting with a screen damage detection system, able to alert users in case of problems. The project, according to AppleInsider, was filed last Tuesday with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
An extra section on the edge, able to monitor the status of the screen
The idea would be to add an extra section to the edge of the classic iPhone display. This, in addition to hosting the detection components, would act as an interface system between the display and the rest of the smartphone. In short every slight interruption of the signal would not go unnoticed by the detectors present in that section.
Also according to the rumors of AppleInsider, the project would also include two sensors: one for detecting deformation, and the other for temperature compensation. By measuring resistance over different lengths of the same line, the device could locate areas of the display that have cracks and evaluate the extent of the crack.
The patent includes, among its creators, names such as Prashant Mandlik, Bhadrinarayana Lalgudi Visweswaran, Izhar Z Ahmed, Zhen Zhang, Tsung-Ting Tsai, Ki Yeol Byun, Yu Cheng Chen, Sungki Lee, Mohammad Hajirostam and Sinan Alousi. A first draft of the patent, again according to AppleInsider, would have been filed on 13 February 2018. It must be said that Apple files numerous questions weekly. However, while these are indicative of interest in specific areas, it does not guarantee that the patented idea will appear in a future product or service.
Displays as smart as devices – not a new idea for Apple
The idea of a crack detection system is not new to Apple, although in the past it has been thought of with slightly different methods and applications. Like in 2017, when Cupertino thought about using a sensor network and a piezoelectric actuator to detect crack formation on iPhone displays. Or in 2020, in the patent of the phantom Apple Car, which would have windows with a conductive layer to help determine the presence of cracks.
Apple, also in 2020, had also considered making a self-healing display using a mix of rigid and flexible sections.