Apple has filed a patent for an electronic device display that can detect tiny cracks in the phone’s surface, and alert the user.
The patent involves the creation of a screen with “monitoring circuitry utilising a crack detection resistor” and marks the latest in the company’s efforts to protect its users’ screens.
The patent covers “flexible displays”, which are poised to become the norm, and will no doubt be used with another patent Apple filed in October, 2020, which details a ‘hardcoat’ protective layer for screens that both prevents cracks, and fills pre-existing micro cracks.
“An electronic device may have a flexible display such as an organic light-emitting diode display,” the latest patent reads.
“A strain sensing resistor may be formed on a bent tail portion of the flexible display to gather strain measurements. Resistance measurement circuitry in a display driver integrated circuit may make resistance measurements on the strain sensing resistor and a temperature compensation resistor to measure strain.
“A crack detection line may be formed from an elongated pair of traces that are coupled at their ends to form a loop. The crack detection line may run along a peripheral edge of the flexible display.
“Crack detection circuitry may monitor the resistance of the crack detection line to detect cracks. The crack detection circuitry may include switches that adjust the length of the crack detection line and thereby allow resistances to be measured for different segments of the line.”