A new patent application surfaced last week that points to Apple’s extensive research regarding oleophobic coating. The ingredient is used to fight off skin oils, which cause fingerprints and smudges on touchscreen displays.

Apple originally introduced the coating back in 2009 on the iPhone 3GS, but this application describes a more efficient method for applying the material. Mix in the fact that the patent was just filed in February, and we could see Apple use this on their upcoming smartphone…

As The Next Web points out, Apple’s current method for applying the oleophobic coating involves placing a bunch of pellets of the ingredient in a chamber under the glass. Then they superheat the pellets until they vaporize and coat the display.

The process that’s outlined in the new patent describes a different method for applying the coating:

“A raw liquid material that includes the oleophobic ingredient can be placed in a liquid supply system coupled to a vacuum chamber. The liquid supply system can be pressed by an inert gas to prevent undesired chemical reactions between the oleophobic ingredient and air. The liquid, including the oleophobic ingredient, can vaporize upon reaching the vaporizing unit, and the oleophobic ingredient can be deposited on the component.”

In layman’s terms, the new method will not only make displays more oil-resistant but could also increase its lifespan. And if you still have an iPhone 3GS or iPad laying around, you know what a big deal that is. Here’s hoping we see this patent find its way into consumer products sooner, rather than later.

[Patently Apple]

  • Michael hernandy

    THATS why my 3GS doesnt get fingerprints as easily!

  • Joeyjojo

    If I was to steal an iPad or something and get caught, I wouldn’t be prosecuted because of lack of fingerprints!!!! Ha ha. (by the way I’m not going to steal one!!).

  • Burge

    I can see why this is good, but anyone with sence will have a screen protector on there device to stop scratches , there for no finger prints on the screen ….so how about putting this coating on screen protectors ?

    • Eldaria

      I suspect that with a screen protector you will actually get worse protection than without and more smudges.

      I have had my 3GS for soon 2 years now, and it has been everywhere, in the pocket with keys, falling on the ground, etc, plenty of situations for scratches to appear, and the only thing that does not have a scratch is the glass front, even the home button has a scratch but not the glass.
      And a single wipe against a shirt or other cloth will clean of any smudge that might have gotten there.

      The coating on this thing is amazing.

  • Yesterday I bought anti touch screen protection ^-* for ma ipad2

    • Dane

      What goods an iPad if you can’t touch your screen?

      • Eldaria

        LOL, I was thinking the exact same thing.

  • allMac

    Awesome! soon other companies shall follow suit and start producing similar oleophobic coatings for screen protectors, and all iDevices shall be fingerprint-free! *evil laugh*

  • David

    It’s about time as my iPod touch 4g has a scratch on it and compared to my iPhone 3G there is a same amount of fingerprints, so I hope apple does come out with something better.

  • Pearl

    Hopefully the chemicals in this thing won’t cause any health hazards to the labor workers working on the iDevices as well as the consumers.

  • babeh

    Its ok. i think we want it more sturdy like the gorilla glass.