Everybody with a smartphone or tablet understands how difficult it is to read your screen in direct sunlight (or other situations where glare comes into play). It’s one of the reasons I turn to my e-reader after all of this time, because at least it does a little better job –but there is no question that the resolution is lacking and it limits the usefulness of the device. Many manufacturers have tried and failed to conquer the glare-monster… when the solution may have been (literally) fluttering under our noses the entire time: a coating present on the wings of the glasswing butterfly.
Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology discovered that the glasswing’s wings reflect very small amounts of light (due to pillar-like nanostructures, the details of which are far beyond what my non-biology-skilled brain can understand). Basically it all adds up to clarity coming from biological chaos –which we desperately need to find ways to duplicate. If (when) we do, the glass on our mobile devices should reduce glare and repel water.
It isn’t just smartphones and tablets that would benefit from this advance, consider other possibilities: watches (smart and otherwise), camera lenses, and especially eyeglass lenses (anybody else with a toddler out there will be especially excited to imagine a world with fewer smudges in their line of sight).
Jillian Koskie is an experienced software developer, content writer, project manager and usability design expert. With over 17 years in these roles, Jillian has enjoyed applying her skill-set to assist clients and users across a wide variety of sectors including: legal, health, and financial services. Combining these professional opportunities with a love of technology, Jillian is pleased to contribute articles, opinions, and advice to numerous news outlets, websites, and publications.