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Self cleaning touchscreen infotainment in cars

Written by Kanad Kalasur

General Motors has filed a patent for a ‘self-cleaning system for displays using light emitting diodes emitting invisible violet light’. This technology could potentially clean fingerprint smudges, residual oil, dust and other dirt from the surface of any screen.

General Motors’ self-cleaning screens

Usually in a screen, there are RGB LEDs that are used to display the contents that are required. Now, there will be an additional fourth type of LED. This LED will produce invisible violet light. Further, the LED will be embedded in the display itself.

As per the American carmaker, the display will not just have the violet LED but also a photocatalytic coating on the screen. This is integrated into a transparent layer. When the LEDs emit this violet light, it reacts with the photocatalyst on the screen. This reaction is nothing but a chemical reaction that combines with the water molecules present in the air to clean the surface of the screen. Any fingerprint or dust present on the screen would be hence cleaned off by the aforementioned process.

A photocatalyst is a type of material that will absorb light. After absorption of light, it will start a chemical reaction with the combination of other elements.

This self-cleaning screen will work as and when required thanks to the dedicated violet LED. One can also set it to be used at a fixed time of the day or at any preset intervals as required.

Timeline and launch of this technology

As of now, this technology is in a very nascent stage. As it is still at the patent stage, there would be significant research and development before it even makes its way to the consumer. That said, with the rising use of touchscreens in vehicles these days, such a technology could be a boon. However, do note that like any advanced tech, this could be a very costly optional extra to have in our cars.

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