Touchscreens are an important component on many devices like laptops and cell phones. Due to frequent touching, pathogens collect on these touch surfaces and are even known to survive on them for a long time. These surfaces then become a mechanism for spreading diseases between users. Sterilizing these surfaces using chemical disinfectants continuously is not convenient and might even damage the touch surfaces. To mitigate this problem, the patent describes a technique where after a user has touched the screen, that portion of the screen is illuminated with UV light for sterilization. The selective illumination may occur while receiving a touch input or after an accumulation of touch inputs have been received.
Title – Touch input device with pathogen transmission mitigation
Patent holder – IBM
Patent ID – 9772714