Motorola has patented a new self-healing screen design, a bold idea that may make cracked or smashed cellular phone screens a thing of the past. According to the manufacturer’s plans, smartphones will have the ability to self-repair screens if they have been dropped, damaged, shattered, or cracked.

…the cost for repairing cracked cell phone screens is above $3 billion a year in the U.S. alone.

Despite most electronic companies designing supposedly “smash proof” or “crack proof” screens, damages can still be caused when their phones are dropped from a height of just a few meters. Experts have said that although there is already material on the market that has the ability to self-repair, the technology is still very much in the infant stages and Motorola’s new designs aren’t likely to hit the shelves anytime soon.

According to a report by 2020TECH, Motorola’s patent details a system that allows the screen of a smartphone to repair itself through the use of a special material that has self-generating properties. The phone giant has used a “shape-memory polymer material that has the ability to fix cracks or deformations it experiences when heat is applied. This compound would be used to cover the glass panel of the handset, which would become a self-repairing screen,” the website writes.

Motorola has patented the technology which will be able to detect scratches, cracks, damage, or any abnormality on a smartphone’s screen.

Once the onboard electronic system pinpoints the problem, the handset owner will receive an alert informs them of the issue and then gives an option to start the repair. The user can also manually program the phone to locate areas of damage in the glass that need repair.

Girl with broken phone, girl with not broken screen.

The repair system will work via the handset electronics applying heat to an affected area from within the smartphone, which will activate the shape memory properties of the protective cover over the glass and repair the damage.

Motorola has highlighted within their patent that this technology is not magic; rather, it is a sophisticated way of repairing damaged screens. They state that while it’s not yet perfect, it is able to correct and repair minor damage and flaws.

Digital Trends states that 50% of the global population have experienced a cracked smartphone screen. In the United States, the overall percentage of people with a cracked screen stands at 34%. Repair bills for cracked screens can reach $125 upwards for each handset. In addition, it’s revealed that the cost for repairing cracked cell phone screens is above $3 billion a year in the U.S. alone. The survey found that it is more than likely that users will fork out at least once during their phone’s lifespan for a new screen.

If Motorola is able to pull off their latest design, they will certainly make a bold impact the cell phone market. Many phone owners have come to the end of their ropes when it comes to paying for really expensive screen repair bills, sometimes on multiple occasions.

black and white logo of Bold Wire for Bold Business
The Bold Wire delivers our latest global news, exclusive top stories, industry leading infographics, powerful interviews and bold opinions. It is a free weekly newsletter.