How would you like your future smartphone screen to be completely glare-free, water-repellent, and self-cleaning? Researchers at MIT published a paper describing how they selectively removed parts of the glass to create microscopic cones, which apparently gives the glass the ability to resist fogging and glare. The MIT news site states the following:
“The new ‘multifunctional’ glass, based on surface nanotextures that produce an array of conical features, is self-cleaning and resists fogging and glare, the researchers say. Ultimately, they hope it can be made using an inexpensive manufacturing process that could be applied to optical devices, the screens of smartphones and televisions, solar panels, car windshields and even windows in buildings.”
The lack of glare or fog would make the glass nearly invisible. Also, water would literally just bead and bounce right off, taking any dust along with it, making it super easy to keep dust-free. Check out the video of water droplets rolling off the glass after the break.
If and when this type of technology comes to smartphones, the experience could be more immersive since you’d essentially be interacting with elements on a screen you can’t see. The cost of creating glass with these microscopic cones shouldn’t break the bank, either. According to MIT:
“In the future glass or transparent polymer films might be manufactured with such surface features simply by passing them through a pair of textured rollers while still partially molten; such a process would add minimally to the cost of manufacture.”
This is all just research right now, so we have no idea when a commercial application of this technology will become available. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later!