Scientists have developed a material that is capable of healing itself that could be incorporated into smartphone screens within the next three years.
Scientists at UC Riverside say their breakthrough is the first time a self repairing material has been created that is also capable of conducting electricity, which means it can be used in touchscreens on smartphones and laptops.
The material is made from a stretchable polymer and features a ion-dipole force bond that can stitch itself back together within 24 hours after being torn or scratched, Business Insider reported.
The material is also capable of stretching to 50 times its original size meaning that any scratches are not permanent.
“Self-healing materials may seem far away for real application, but I believe they will come out very soon with cellphones,” said Chao Wang, one of the scientists involved in developing the material.
“Within three years, more self-healing products will go to market and change our everyday life. It will make our cellphones achieve much better performance than what they can achieve right now.”
Wang is also developing a self healing lithium ion battery that could also repair itself and last longer than current batteries.
Some phones do already include a self healing material, such as the LG G Flex which features such material in its case.
Gorilla Glass is the current material of choice used in many smartphones and while it is good at preventing scratches, it is incredibly prone to shattering, especially if you ever drop your phone on a hard surface.