According to SquareTrade, 25.6 percent of iPhone owners reported failure within the first two years with 18.1 percent caused from accidental damage. Another 7.5 percent of failures were caused from hardware malfunction.
But, what if that dismal number could be slashed by new cell phones that could heal themselves? It may sound like science fiction, but self-healing phones are already making their way to the marketplace.
How can a phone heal itself without any human intervention? Well, engineers at the University of Pittsburgh are experimenting with biomimicry, or materials modeled after the human body. Think about when we get a cut. We get a scab, and it heals with little effort. Now, self-healing polymers can mimic that function and repair themselves.
Cell phones repair themselves by restoring their initial molecular structure. While a phone currently can’t repair itself after being run over by a truck, flattened and destroyed, it is possible for it to heal broken circuits and scratches. This could mean less consumer consumption and waste as cell phones become more impervious to damage.
Scientists at the University of Illinois are developing a system of capsules inserted along the phone's circuits and filled with liquid metal. If the circuit is broken, the liquid is released to restore its connection and return the electrical flow. This could mean that cell phone users would never even know their phone broke before its fixed and working again. It also could avoid going in for diagnostic testing because the self-healing circuits would figure it out on their own.
While we wait for self-healing circuits to hit the market, there is a phone ready for public use. The LG G Flex comes with a curved, OLED display that can actually bend for a limited period of time. This helps keep the screen and phone bend instead of cracking upon impact.
The phone also has a self-healing coat of paint that can withstand wear and tear and heal itself after piercings by sharp objects like keys or a blade. This also makes it easier to grip while it heals itself from scratches.
So, we know the LG G Flex can bend and heal itself to a certain extent. But how is its overall user functionality? The phone's large, 6-inch HD curved screen gives it a distinctively cinematic experience. Its contoured shape aligns with your face and keeps the gap minimized between your mouth and the microphone to boost the voice quality. And, people love its long battery life.
Although the reception has been mostly favorable, the one complaint is that the 13-megapixel camera does not live up to expectations. Like many camera phones, it does not do well in low-light situations, and it is difficult to change the brightness.
Other Self-Healing Products
Are you wondering if self-healing polymers and new innovations in self-healing materials are wasted on clumsy cell phone users? Well, self-healing products are already in the public and private marketplace. An article in Forbes explains that now, tanks have the ability to let a bullet through its exterior and snap its damaged frame back into shape in less than a second. NASCAR also uses racetrack barriers that can withstand impact from a racing car, absorb it and return back to its original shape. And, cars are already employing self-healing paints and coats that enable healing in the sunlight. So, it's about time phones caught up with the future.
Self-Healing phones? I can't resist. Impressive and Awesome! If you liked our post then be a friend and tell a friend.