This Futuristic Glass Could Someday Make The iPad And iPhone Glare-Free

This Futuristic Glass Could Someday Make The iPad And iPhone Glare-Free

Amazon's Kindle is actually readable outdoors, while it's harder to use the iPad in the sun.

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.

MIT news:

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.

 

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  • WardC

    This is reminiscent of of the days of the PowerBook 170 which had an active-matrix black and white display, which could be fully visible in full sunlight with the backlight turned off on the display. This display technology is basically the same as e-ink or LCD technology used in digital watches — but, the color displays require backlighting to really be visible or usable with the backlight turned off. The issue is not the glass (although for outdoor use you should use a matte display), but the issue is more the TFT LCD display panels we are using and their technology is nothing like the Black & White active-matrix panels like the PowerBook 170 and Macintosh Portable, which allowed for use with backlighting turned off.

  • ApplePr0n

    I personally like the glossy nature of the current screens. However, if they could keep it glossy and still make it resistant to sunlight then hell yeah

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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