Even with the best cases and screen protectors at the ready, shattering your phone’s display with one unfortunate drop seems like it’s always a possibility.
Replacing a broken screen is often the only go-to option after a nasty fall, but Motorola appears to be working on a more sci-fi alternative: regenerating your cracked screen right on the spot.
The company behind the nostalgic Razr and more contemporary Moto Z line of handsets published a patent last week for a method of using heat to reform a damaged screen, essentially ‘healing’ the crack in the process.
Originally filed in February of last year, the patent describes using a “shape memory polymer” that regains its form after being subjected to “thermal elements,” which can include the phone heating itself up, applying a hair dryer, using body heat or even leaving the damaged phone out in the sun.
While this could be a dream come true for clumsy phone owners, Motorola’s patented method seemingly only heals (or partially heals) smaller cracks and scratches, making it far from a magic bullet for those bigger spills that can take out entire pieces of your screen.
Additionally, and as should always be stated, patents like Motorola’s are only proof-of-concept. This means it could still be long while before we see this self-healing technology in action, if at all.
There’s also no saying how good-looking (or cost-effective) a regenerating screen would turn out, so for now we suggest taking extra caution and investing in a good phone case.