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GM invents self-cleaning touchscreen displays

GM invents self-cleaning touchscreen displays

#invents #selfcleaning #touchscreen #displays Welcome to InNewCL, here is the new story we have for you today:

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An interior shot of the touchscreens on the dashboard of a Chevrolet Equinox EV vehicle.

Image: General Motors

Like it or not, touchscreens replacing physical buttons in cars aren’t going away any time soon. In fact, one day your vehicle’s entire dashboard will likely be one big screen covered in weeks of greasy fingerprints. To make them less of a chore, rather than wiping them clean with the occasional buffing of the sleeve, General Motors has patented a new screen design that allows touchscreens to erase fingerprints all by themselves.

If you immediately picture this patent describing a robotic arm with a microfiber cloth that extends from a car’s dashboard and goes to work, or even tiny wipers that come to life after every touchscreen interaction, like the ones that do your windshield clean, then you are right out. What GM has come up with is far smarter and more understated.

In addition to red, green, and blue pixels, the upgraded screens would introduce an additional purple pixel that would be invisible to the human eye, similar to ultraviolet light, so as not to degrade the colors and images displayed on the screen. The touchscreen would also use a similarly invisible photocatalytic screen coating designed to absorb specific wavelengths of light to create a chemical reaction. GM’s patent proposes using a metal oxide-based photocatalyst that would react to the ultraviolet radiation of sunlight, but since many cars use window tints to keep the interior dark and cool, the photocatalyst reaction would be initiated by the purple pixels instead .

At night when the car is sitting in the dark unused, or even during a daytime driver-initiated cleaning cycle, the purple pixels would come on and activate the photocatalyst in the screen coating, which would trigger a chemical reaction that uses up moisture in the air to clean to break down the organic materials left in fingerprints, as well as the oil residue and grease from the fast food we all sometimes guiltily chomp down in the car.

When the reaction stops and everything dries up, those greasy streaks and fingerprints just vanish like dust in the wind, leaving behind clean screens ready to be soiled again with the remains of that morning’s Egg McMuffin.

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So when will self-cleaning touchscreens appear as an option for GM vehicles? Maybe in a few years, maybe never. For now, the technology is only in patent status, and GM hasn’t made any announcements about whether it plans to pursue the technology as an actual feature in future vehicles, or whether it will just sit on the patent, so other automakers are offering it too not on. Hopefully the idea will take off, because self-cleaning touchscreens would be a welcome upgrade for so many devices, not just cars.

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