I guess it’s almost inevitable that folding devices are going to become a thing. Even if the devices we have seen so far are proving problematic with regards to long-term screen quality and are available at price points that don’t make sense to even the super-rich amongst us. Apple may seem like they are a surprisingly a little late to the party when they are used to leading market trends in things like these, but a new patent published by them suggests they are still invested in the idea too but wanting to bring something potentially different to it when they do.
The new patent, spotted by Patently Apple, shows off a hypothetical screen cover that includes a layer of elastomer that can lose and regain its shape (possibly pairing with heat or some form of electric current) to keep the sensitive inner workings of a device protected. What this means is that the more flexible plastic should be above to withstand the constant flexing action from a folding screen like this and even be able to bend and adjust to cracks that may form over time.
LG attempted to make a self-healing rear cover in the past with its G Flex device, but it proved to not be so effective at recovering from even some of the most basic of scratching. It will be interesting to see if Apple’s approach would be more resilient. If they could get this to work and keep a screen looking crease and scratch-free, then it could certainly make the idea of folding devices more feasible.
This is just a patent filing for now, which Apple is still playing around with ideas and in no way means they have to solve this problem or even intend to ever go to market with it either. If we do ever see this type of technology making its way to devices, it will still be several years away. Which by then the craze may have passed and we are on to some other new technological trend.
Last Updated: October 6, 2020