Ever wished your smartphone or tablet touchscreen wouldn’t pick up smudge marks so easily? No matter how clean you keep your hands, the natural oils in your skin mean that you’ll quickly get streaky marks on your touchscreen devices.
Scientists may have the solution, though it seems they’ve pooled their inspiration from quite an unlikely source; garden furniture.
Tests are being carried out on using titanium dioxide, the same chemical used to keep sunscreens from developing a slimy layer and also used to keep outdoor furniture cleaner for longer, as a coating for touchscreens.
“If you apply a thin coating of titanium dioxide to a glass surface such as a smartphone screen, the skin oils and fingerprints gradually disappear from the display by themselves,” a statement from the study explains.
However, there’s a catch. To activate the reaction, devices would need to be left in the sun for an entire day. That’s better than the previous three days needed to spark off earlier compounds, but in the gloomy UK it might as well be a lifetime.
Still one small step closer to smudge-free touchscreens we suppose.