Apple Exploring Silver Nanowires for New iPad Pro Screen

Apple watchers say that the company’s upcoming iPad Pro could have a flexible display coated with silver nanowires (AgNW) that works with “Force Touch,” a feature that the company first used on its 2015 MacBook notebooks. The feature allows the display to distinguish among different finger pressures allowing, say, a video to play faster when pressed harder.

Apple has reportedly contacted several display makers including LG Display, Samsung Display, and Japan Display for AgNW displays, which are more flexible than current film displays using indium tin oxide, according to Electronic Times, a South Korean media company.

AgNW is more sensitive to touch pressure than current display technologies which means that an increased level of sensitivity could offer new applications and uses for the 12.9- inch displays on the iPad Pro. For example, Electronic Times noted, “It will be very easy for a user to change the thickness of a line depending on pressure from a fingertip, which can enable a person to draw a picture more delicately. Apple will apply resistive-touch function onto their new AgNW film by coating silver wire with constant length and thickness, which can be made by applying a silver salt onto a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) film.”

Another benefit of using AgNW is that it will save Apple money because indium is scarce and expensive, Electronic Times said.

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