Apple Researching Titanium Finish With Oxide Coating to Better Deal With Fingerprints and Smudges


Apple spends a lot on research and development every year. The purpose is to make the device premium and appealing for users. Now, the company seems to be researching anti-fingerprint coating again which can be used in future products. That's right, the company is working to reduce the fingerprint and smudges on the surface of its products. It has been hinted that Apple might use titanium in its products. The details have been revealed in a new patent that the company filed.

Apple Patents Anti-Fingerprint Oxide Coating for Future Products, Hints Again at Titanium Finish

Apple files a lot of patents with the USPTO and it is not necessary that each new aspect will see daylight anytime soon. The latest Apple patent (via Patently Apple) details how the company can use a thin layer of coating in an attempt to reduce fingerprint on its device, The patent is titled "Oxide coating for metal surfaces".

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This is not the first time that we're hearing such details from the iPhone-manufacturer. Apple has also filed a patent for titanium device enclosures that can be used on MacBooks, iPads as well as iPhones. The patent details benefits of sticking with the titanium finish on devices that focus on "high strength, stiffness, and hardness."

Apple Patent Details Oxide Coating on Titanium Finish for fingerprints

The company stresses that titanium tends to show fingerprints easily compared to other metal surfaces. The reason is the reflectivity of the metal and titanium alloy surfaces. Traditionally, the oleophobic coating is used to minimize the impact of fingerprints on the surface but it is less evident on titanium surfaces. Henceforth, Apple will use a different solution if it wishes to achieve an anti-fingerprint surface.

Apple Patent Details Oxide Coating on Titanium Finish for fingerprints

This made room for the company to research oxide coating which is "configured to reduce or eliminate interference-coloring effects brought upon by fingerprints or other thin-film operations." The oxide coating will allow the light to reflect with no distortion whereby covering up fingerprints or oily smudges.

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In some embodiments, the oxide coatings are sufficiently thick to increase the optical path difference of incident light, thereby reducing any inference coloring by the fingerprint to a non-visible level. In some embodiments, the oxide coatings have a non-uniform thickness that changes the way light reflects off interfaces of the oxide coating, thereby reducing or eliminating any thin film interference coloring.

Apple also points out that the oxide coating can be used on a wide range of metals such as aluminum, aluminum alloy, magnesium, steel, magnesium alloys, and much more. The coating can also be used "to form durable and cosmetically appealing finishes" on several Apple products including the iPhone, IPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook.

Titanium variant is only available on the Apple Watch as of now and probably in the near future, Apple will add the finish to other products as well. What are your thoughts on the oxide coating on titanium finishes? Let us know in the comments.