Healing powers: Motorola patents screen tech that fixes cracks with heat

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.

Image Credit: United States Patent and Trademark Office
(Image: © United States Patent and Trademark Office)

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.

Via The Verge