Apple Is Working To Make Future iOS Devices Impervious To Grease And Fingerprints

Apple Is Working To Make Future iOS Devices Impervious To Grease And Fingerprints

Sick of greasy fingerprints smudging your pristine iPhone or iPad? Wish Apple would come up with a tiny vacuum with a practically microscopic nozzle to suction out the vast rivulets of grease and oil that flows between the furrows of your digits’ epidermis? No need to go crazy: Apple’s already working on fingerprint resistant coatings for future iPhones and iPads.

Patently Apple reports on the oleophobic coating Apple wants to slather future devices in:

Apple states that to prevent the deposition of oils on an electronic device surface, an oleophobic ingredient could be bonded to the electronic device surface. The oleophobic ingredient could be provided as part of a raw liquid material in one or more concentrations. To avoid adverse reactions due to exposure to air, heat, or humidity, the raw liquid material can be placed in a bottle purged with an inert gas during the manufacturing process.

The bottle could be placed in a liquid supply system having a mechanism for controlling the amount of raw liquid material that passes through the liquid supply system. Upon reaching the vaporizing unit, the liquid could be vaporized and the oleophobic ingredient within the liquid can then be deposited on the electronic device component surface. As the liquid supply is drained from the bottle, additional inert gas is supplied in its place to further prevent contamination.

As far as I’m concerned, Apple can’t realize this patent soon enough. I’m sick of my iPad’s touch display looking like a bathroom mirror in some bus station mere hours after I clean it.

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  • Arnauld De La Grandière

    it’s already in use in current iPhones.

  • Elliot George

    Yea, “oleophobic, I’ve heard of that: It doesn’t work. 

  • Mike Rathjen

    It’s not perfect, but it’s a huge reduction compared to non-oleophobic screens.

  • Son1ze

    I smell more patent trolls and/or patent litigations in Apple’s trillion dollar future. Lol.

  • djgrahamj

    Have you used a 2G? The 3GS is *way* more resistant to fingerprints, and they wipe right off. I used to have to buff my 2G regularly to keep it clean.

  • CharliK

    The point is that this is old news.

    Now if it had been that Apple had developed a new and much more effective coating, that perhaps also reduces glare a bit, and is using it on the upcoming iPhone 5. Well that would be news

  • prof_peabody

    It actually works, it’s just that people misunderstand how it works.  An oleophobic coating just stops grease and dirt from adhering to the surface.  In other words it makes it easier to wipe off.  

    It’s not a magic coating that stops the grease from your fingers from appearing at all.  Short of having little window wipers or microscopic cleaning nanobots, you still have to actually wipe it on your sleeve by yourself. 

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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