Apple patent application seeks to electrically detect windshield cracks

It uses the resistance of a conductive layer in the laminated glass to detect damage.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt

You don't need Apple's patent to detect this bad boy, but you get the idea.

Jerry Redfern/Getty Images

Cracked windshields are not only a pain in the butt, they can be dangerous if they obstruct your vision, and they can also be expensive to replace. That cost goes up if the windshield is electronically heated or otherwise technologically enhanced. 

Apple thinks it may have a solution to this problem -- yes, that Apple -- or at least that it may be close enough to an answer to have filed a patent application, on Nov. 19. The application describes a system that would carefully monitor the resistance of a conductive film in the sandwiched piece of glass to detect when the glass has been compromised due to physical damage.

What benefit would this serve? I mean, either way, the glass has to be replaced, right? Well, because this is Apple we're talking about, the system would be smart. That means it would alert you to a windshield crack before the crack necessarily became visible, or it could even go so far as to book the repair procedure automatically. 

Now, if I were you, I wouldn't necessarily expect to have this tech on my next car or anything -- this is just a patent application, after all -- but thankfully, you already have a set of built-in windshield crack detection devices installed on your face, so you'll probably be just fine.

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