The jump from a standard alphanumeric keypad on your mobile phone to a full touchscreen display can be said to be huge – revolutionary, even. Unfortunately, there is one issue with the quantum leap to touchscreen displays, and that would be the problem of smudges. There is still no smudge-free touchscreen display just yet, and this could prove to be annoying at times, although I believe that most of us have come to live with smudges here and there while using our smartphones. What if I told you that there was a solution to this niggling issue? Well, it seems that the very same ingredient used in sunlight-activated plastic lawn furniture might eventually be used for paint for antibacterial walls, and yes, you’ve guessed it right – a coating for smudge-resistant touchscreen displays.

The study on titanium dioxide has been ongoing, where this chemical is commonly found in paint, sunscreens and cosmetics, and is capable of getting rid of microbes and the slime generated after colonizing a particular surface. Whenever sunlight is shone on titanium dioxide molecules, a chemical reaction will begin that results in free radicals, penetrating the cell walls of bacteria and fungi and damaging their DNA. Perhaps a thin coating of the stuff on a touchscreen display will help make short work of skin oils and fingerprints?

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