One of the problems with modern glass displays on smartphones, tablets, and computers is screen glare. If you’ve ever tried to use your iPad out in the sun or check your iPhone on the beach during a bright, sunny day, you know what it’s like — any kind of light creates a glare that can be almost unbearable. Amazon has touted the Kindle’s E-ink display for its anti-glare technology, while all of Apple’s products with glass screens, including the non-matte MacBooks, are notorious for their tendency to collect smudges and reflect ambient light.
MIT researches have developed a water-repellent, self-cleaning glass that “virtually eliminates” reflections of any kind. The new glass will hopefully start making its way into the technologies we use on a daily basis, especially our beloved Apple devices.
The new “multifunctional” glass, based on surface nanotextures that produce an array of conical features, is self-cleaning and resists fogging and glare, the researchers say. Ultimately, they hope it can be made using an inexpensive manufacturing process that could be applied to optical devices, the screens of smartphones and televisions, solar panels, car windshields and even windows in buildings.
Apple currently uses Corning Gorilla Glass for its iOS devices, and the second generation of Gorilla Glass was debuted at CES earlier this year. Corning’s latest glass is highly durable and 20% lighter than its predecessor, and Apple will likely use Gorilla Glass 2 for its next-gen iOS products.
If the cost of MIT’s anti-glare glass can be eventually lowered for mass distribution, the days of squinting and awkwardly craning your neck to read outside will likely be over.