Microsoft Files Patent for Anti-Bacterial Touchscreens

The company is working on new tech to disinfect touch-based screens automatically

By on February 22nd, 2013 08:24 GMT

With touchscreen devices becoming extremely popular these days, it was only a matter of time before some company started work on a new technology supposed to keep harmful bacteria aside.

This isn’t the first time when Microsoft makes headlines with such a patent, but the company is apparently getting closer to releasing a final version of its anti-bacterial touchscreen unit, according to a recent patent filling.

Basically, Microsoft is planning to use the UV light in order to disinfect fingerprints once the user touches the device's screen, be it a tablet, a laptop or a smartphone.

Here’s an abstract from the chapter of the patent that briefly describes Microsoft’s new technology:

“A UV and visible light transparent film material is secured onto or within a touch-based screen to automatically disinfect the external surface. UV light is emitted from a UV light source into an edge of the transparent film material in order to transfer the UV light through the transparent film material while remaining in the transparent film material through total internal reflection effect.

“Some UV light exits the transparent film material at points of contact to disinfect fingertips and immediate surrounding areas through the frustrated total internal reflection effect.”

Since Microsoft is working really hard to expand its hardware product lineup, such a technology would obviously represent a major advantage for the Redmond-based firm, especially given the fact that its tablets have failed to excite until now.

The price tag, however, would remain a big issue, as an anti-bacterial touchscreen is very likely to be a fairly expensive add-on.

It remains to be seen whether Microsoft will actually manage to bring such a project in mass production, but as far as the technology giant is concerned, it’s pretty clear that the tablet industry will be germ-free in just a few years.

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