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Apple patent wants to get rid of those pesky fingerprints once and for all

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Apple patent wants to get rid of those pesky fingerprints once and for all
What Apple surely has a lot of, besides cash and fans, of course, is patents. Sadly, though, only a fraction of them make it to a gadget that a mere mortal can get their hands on. When it comes to this innovation, however, we are really crossing our fingers in hopes of seeing it materialize as it would take care of an issue that pretty much anyone who has ever used a touchscreen phone has faced – fingerprints.

As some of you probably know, the iPhone 3GS was the first smartphone in Apple's portfolio to get an oleophobic coating on its display, thanks to which it had the tendency of collecting less finger smudge than an ordinary touchscreen. The trouble with the technology, however, is that the coating wears off over time. This is where the patent that we are introducing to you today comes in handy as it will rejuvenate the oleophobic properties on the display of any iDevice through a process called Physical Vapor Desposition. In a nutshell, the fingerprint-resistant chemical can be deposited onto the device's screen in a liquid form whenever that is required. The chemical itself can be held in a pressurized container inside of the device.

A visualization of the PVD technology, as it appears in the patent filing

A visualization of the PVD technology, as it appears in the patent filing

Rumor has it that the technology will be present in the iPhone 5, yet you know how reliable all these iPhone speculations are. Even though seeing an advanced oleophobic coating incorporated into the next iPhone iteration would be simply awesome, chances are that we will not get to see this technology being applied in real life anytime soon.

source: USPTO via Gizmodo

16 Comments
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posted on 15 Aug 2011, 07:09

1. Sniggly (Posts: 6920; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Or...

You can spend 25 bucks on a lifetime screen protector.

The goal is a good ideal to shoot for though.

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 08:16

6. iwebdroidberry7 (Posts: 230; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


Yeah I'd rather take a free implementation over a $25 screen protector anyday.

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 13:39 1

13. NeXoS (Posts: 278; Member since: 03 May 2011)


Or, until people start getting cancer from the chemicals on the screen of their phone and then touching food or their mouths.

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 20:29

14. Paden (Posts: 262; Member since: 07 Jul 2011)


"A lipophobic coating is used on the touchscreens of the Apple iPhone 3GS[1], iPhone 4 and iPad[2], Google Nexus S from Samsung, and the HTC Touch HD2, Hero and Flyer [3] to repel fingerprint oils.

3M offers the Vikuiti screen protection film DQC160 with lipophobic coating[4] for mobile devices."

Looks like it won't just be Apple users then.. ^_^

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 07:21 3

2. Fax-U (unregistered)


This is a way for Apple to sue anyone who invents an actual fingerprint vaporizing screen.

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 07:49 1

3. rex0422 (Posts: 30; Member since: 12 Aug 2011)


The oleophobic coating is amazing, I really love it on iPhone 3GS and 4! However, like the article says, it wears off as time goes on, and it is very noticeable!!! I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO SEE THIS TECHNOLOGY ON THE NEXT IPHONE!!! Fingers crossed...

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 08:05 1

4. matketingbs (unregistered)


What a waste of space on the phone! How about 4g on the iPhone? This is how apple is trying to get ahead again?

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 08:16

5. iwebdroidberry7 (Posts: 230; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


Waste of space? You mean that thing you call a screen?

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 09:07

8. mr. sarcasm (unregistered)


No, he was talking about internally. But now that you mention the screen, they could have put a larger scrren and used up more of the real estate on the front. Oh wait, that would mean you would have to make the revolutionary home button on the front smaller. NM

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 11:54

12. iwebdroidberry7 (Posts: 230; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


Ahh oooo you have intel on the screen size of the new iPhone?! Please do divulge? & A waste of space on the inside of the phone? You act like the iPhone isn't on of the thinnest smartphones in existence already. Would this really add that much girth? If any at all? Didn't think so.

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 08:24 1

7. andro (unregistered)


weow this changes everything again again,expect apple to apply a nice premium to the iphone price for this minor effect. The idea of having a 100 percent fingerprint proof screen will be patented and any company in the history of mankind from here on who produces such a screen will be sued by apple

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 10:02

9. Geeksarebest (Posts: 34; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)


iPhones have always had a set, base cost and there isn't a premium for built in stuff. It's not like they're going to make a version without it just for cheap a**es.

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 10:54

10. Rich (unregistered)


this would be AWESOME!


however... once you put on your screen protector it would be a useless feature anyway...

and personally anyone without a screen protector is a dumbass IMHO so..... the money spent to work on the feature could prolly be used better elsewhere.

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 11:51

11. Robert235 (Posts: 50; Member since: 30 May 2010)


wow apple is patent whore

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 20:32 1

15. Paden (Posts: 262; Member since: 07 Jul 2011)


Idea!

Let's spend thousands if not millions on R&D to differentiate our product from the hundreds of smart phones out there. Then, let's just put it on our products without protecting it at all. Genius!

posted on 15 Aug 2011, 23:31 1

16. Stuntman (Posts: 711; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


I can see this in some crime drama. The perpetrator of the crime leaves his finger prints on an iPhone, but the phone gets rid of it before the cops can get to the phone and collect the evidence.

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