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iPhones could repair themselves in the future

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iPhone 6S

Apple has been granted a patent for self-maintaining, self-repairing technology by the US Patent and Trademark office.

The patent is titled 'automated maintenance of an electronic device', which essentially means iPhones of the future could be fixing themselves and performing maintenance while you sleep.

Originally filed in July 2014, the application details 'maintenance, repair and recalibration functions’, including a screen diagnostic which would run overnight.

As the patent states: "The portable electronic device senses when a user is not in close proximity to the device or when the device is otherwise in an environment which will make the performance of the functions undetectable by a user."

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By cycling through 'various light colours and/or various patterns', the device would be able to fix dead pixels or 'burn in' on the screen.

The patent also describes a method of removing water from the phone's speaker by playing a particular tone 'which causes [the] speaker to vibrate and expel the moisture'.

The device would be able to detect what type of environment it is in before playing the tone which, the patent says could 'prove bothersome to users'.

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As well as the screen maintenance and speaker repair, the document also describes camera recalibration as one of the tasks that could be carried out without the user realising.

The technology is highly unlikely to make it to the iPhone 7, and although there's no guarantee we will see it on any iPhone in the future, there's every chance the iPhone 8 could be healing itself while you sleep.

Let us know what you think about a self-healing iPhone in the comments.

Taylor Marks

January 8, 2016, 11:51 pm

I cannot recall any of the dozens of iPhones I've seen in my life having a dead pixel. My 2007 iMac has one (a pixel stuck red in the lower left). It got stuck sometime in 2011... Even if it had stuck earlier, I think it takes 3 for Apple to consider it a defect that needs repairing. Honestly, I forget the 1 pixel is dead 99.999% of the time.

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