No more greasy fingerprints on touchscreen? New tech promises self-cleaning

  • The new technology allows the touchscreens to clean without any manual intervention, including fingerprints that can be annoying for most owners.
General Motors has developed a new technology that will enable its car's touchscreens to clean on its own.
General Motors has developed a new technology that will enable its car's touchscreens to clean on its own.

Carmakers around the world are increasingly leaning towards tech-heavy vehicles, offering features like automation, sensors, LiDAR and connected car technology among some of the modern ones. One of the most improved features inside cars are the touchscreens on the dashboard. The digital screen, which is mostly used to replace physical buttons, as well as offer vital information to the driver, has grown in size over the years. Though they offer a whole lot of convenience, one of the most difficult thing about big display is maintaining a dust-free and spotless screen. However, US-based auto giant General Motors (GM) has come up with a solution to that.

General Motors has recently patented a touchscreen display design that has unique capabilities. The screen can clean itself including fingerprint marks. How does it work? According to the carmaker, the technology integrates violet pixels between red-green-blue pixels on the display panel. Like ultraviolet light, the added new pixels will not be visible to the eye and will not affect the colour displayed. The panel will then be coated with a transparent metal-oxide based photocatalyst.

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What makes the screen able to clean itself? The answer lies with the chemical reaction between the two materials. When exposed to ultraviolet light, the photocatalyst coating is able to absorb that light and cause a chemical reaction using moisture in the air. During this reaction, the organic material that creates fingerprints on the screen, including oil and grease residues, will disintegrate. As a result, the screen will be clean and free from sweat, oil and fingerprints.

It is not known if GM will apply this technology to its models or not. Even if it does, it may take a few more years for the product to be released.

First Published Date: 03 Mar 2023, 16:05 PM IST
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