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New coating could make your smartphone screen shatterproof

Posted: , by Alan F.

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New coating could make your smartphone screen shatterproof
Dropping your smartphone onto a concrete sidewalk will most likely shatter the screen. But soon, you might be thanking scientists at the University of Akron for developing a film that makes your display shatterproof. Using a transparent layer of electrodes on a polymer surface makes a surface tougher and more flexible. Current smartphone screens use a coating of indium tin oxide, which is a more brittle material. In addition, ITO is also more likely to shatter and the price of the material is on the rise.

The material being tested at the University of Akron has been tested and did not lose its shape or strength after 1000 bends. It is also more transparent than ITO. And the material's flexibility means that it can be sold cheaply, in large rolls. Yu Zhu, UA assistant professor of polymer science, says that this material could revolutionize touchscreen surfaces. If the research pans out and becomes commercialized, it will be a godsend to those who have a habit of dropping their phone.

"These two pronounced factors drive the need to substitute ITO with a cost-effective and flexible conductive transparent film. We expect this film to emerge on the market as a true ITO competitor. The annoying problem of cracked smartphone screens may be solved once and for all with this flexible touchscreen."-Yu Zhu, UA assistant professor of polymer science

This is all in the testing stage and so far the material has withstood repeated scotch tape peelings and bending tests. There is no word when we could see the new material on a smartphone, but so far the work seems quite promising.

New material could prevent smartphone screens from shattering

New material could prevent smartphone screens from shattering


source: UniversityofAkron via Engadget

23 Comments
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posted on 07 Jun 2014, 20:05 3

1. Droidrapist (Posts: 186; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Invisible shield already makes a screen protector for this very purpose... and also make one called "Glass" which will shatter instead of your screen..

posted on 07 Jun 2014, 20:32

7. Atrixboyyy (Posts: 244; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


I had that on my note 3... Have never had so many ppl question me about a screen protector.

posted on 08 Jun 2014, 09:56 1

17. buccob (Posts: 1428; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


Yes, also Xperia older than Z2 included the ASF (anti shatter film) which in my experience it did a great job. But sadly they moved away from it in their latest devices... So hopefully they adopt this kind of tech cause I love the ASF...

posted on 08 Jun 2014, 12:59 1

18. Shatter (Posts: 2024; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Anti shatter films don't help stop cracking the glass, it just means if the glass is damaged it won't come off since the film traps it.

posted on 08 Jun 2014, 13:14 1

19. Astoni (Posts: 506; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Speaking from real experience, it helps a f*cking lot..

posted on 08 Jun 2014, 19:55

22. buccob (Posts: 1428; Member since: 19 Jun 2012)


It does help A LOT... and if the screen actually cracks, it is less likely to make a spider-web cracks like the one on the iPhone from the thumbnail picture of the article...

also speaking from real experience since Sony-Ericsson up until now...

posted on 08 Jun 2014, 13:25

20. JEverettnow (Posts: 193; Member since: 11 Mar 2013)


Too bad they dont work. I have seen many a phone with shattered screens rocking Zagg Glass, Zagg Extreme, and Zagg HD.

posted on 07 Jun 2014, 20:15 16

2. deepblack (Posts: 27; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


Symbol of shattered screen = iphone

posted on 07 Jun 2014, 21:09 6

10. Ninetysix (Posts: 1601; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Someone missed all those videos of drop tests vs iPhones.

posted on 07 Jun 2014, 21:23 5

11. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6477; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Best picture of the week ;)

posted on 07 Jun 2014, 20:23 20

3. akki20892 (Posts: 3454; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


IPhone users: yes pls.

Nokia users: we r good, but make hard protected floor.

posted on 07 Jun 2014, 20:30 5

6. elitewolverine (Posts: 1593; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


funny you say that, I dropped a nokia 521 tons of times no damage yet

posted on 07 Jun 2014, 20:38 5

8. aditya.k (Posts: 460; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)


He meant to say that people need to build hard floors for the Nokia phone to get any kind of damage!

posted on 07 Jun 2014, 21:01 17

9. redbaronk12 (Posts: 26; Member since: 14 Dec 2013)


I think the joke was that the floor needs a protector from the falling Nokia

posted on 08 Jun 2014, 03:41

15. aksa123 (Posts: 208; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


You mean OLD nokia users..........

posted on 08 Jun 2014, 07:34 1

16. akki20892 (Posts: 3454; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Any but till April 2014.

posted on 07 Jun 2014, 20:29

4. RoundhouseMcGee (Posts: 175; Member since: 25 May 2014)


Hopefully they Pat sent their innovative idea before foul, rotten, evil patent troll apple do9es.

posted on 07 Jun 2014, 20:30 7

5. Atrixboyyy (Posts: 244; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


Hey at least they choose the right device for the thumbnail to this article.

posted on 07 Jun 2014, 21:28 3

12. AstronautJones (Posts: 262; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)


It works, but not as expensive as Sapphire? Hopefully Google buys the patents before Apple buys the patents.

posted on 08 Jun 2014, 00:10

13. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 968; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


or whoever develops it 1st gets the patent
one thing is to have the idea another thing is to do it
i heard nokia is investing alot into nano tech :3 !

posted on 08 Jun 2014, 00:33 3

14. shuaibhere (Posts: 1428; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


See again... polymer to the rescue...
not the so called premium metal or glass....

posted on 08 Jun 2014, 14:49

21. My1cent (Posts: 14; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


"the material has withstood repeated SCOTCH tape peelings..."
Really! SCOTCH tape?

posted on 09 Jun 2014, 03:30

23. j.khan95 (Posts: 51; Member since: 09 Nov 2013)


Iphone 4 is real famous for breaking screen.

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