Carmaker General Motors has filed a patent for a yellow-cleaning touchscreen display. A chemical reaction should make fingerprints disappear automatically and overnight.

Cars are increasingly developing into rolling computers. More and more assistance systems make navigating through traffic easier, for example, and bring significantly more safety to the cockpit. But digitization also has a disadvantage, because physical buttons give way to settings on the touchscreen.

In principle, this is not a problem, since the automobile manufacturers can thus integrate more and more functions into the on-board system. But after a certain period of use, an annoying phenomenon creeps in. Because more and more fingerprints collect on the touchscreen. A microfiber cloth for cleaning is therefore part of the standard equipment.

General Motors develops self-cleaning touch screen

The automobile manufacturer General Motors has now developed a solution: in a patent, the company describes how light-emitting diodes can independently remove fingerprints from the screen. In order for this to work, GM wants to install a violet diode in addition to red, green and blue light-emitting diodes.

This should then emit light in a spectrum that is not visible to humans. GM uses a principle similar to that of the sun. The ultraviolet light hits the screen and reacts there with a photocatalyst.

The resulting chemical reaction then uses the moisture from the surrounding air and removes organic material from our fingerprints or other dirt.

Fingerprints disappear overnight and at the touch of a button

Ideally, the cleaning process takes place at night or at moments when the driver manually triggers the system. What remains is a dry console that looks almost like new. In theory, the effect could also be achieved by solar radiation. However, GM relies on the separate light-emitting diode for cleaning at night and tinted windows.

It is not yet clear when the touchscreen will first appear in the manufacturer’s models. So far, General Motors has only described the system in a patent, so there has not yet been an official announcement. However, the concept appears sustainable and could also find its way into other technical devices.

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