iPad Anti-Reflective coating a double edged sword?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by doom102938, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. doom102938 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    #1
    Apple has decided to apply an anti-reflective coating on the new iPad Air 2. And whilst it seems like a great idea at first, I'm wondering if it is really a good idea in the long run.

    Those of us who wear glasses will understand that even with decent quality anti-reflective coating(E.g Crizal), they wear out fairly quickly, especially if you clean them with a cloth often.

    While removing the screen protector installed on my sony nex-5n, some of the anti-reflective coating on the screen stuck with the adhesive of the screen protector.

    Which brings me to these few questions.

    1) Would it wear out in a horrible fashion?
    2) How scratch resistant is it?
    3) How fingerprint resistant is it?
    4) If a screen protector was applied and left on for a year or so, would removing the screen protector damage the anti-reflective coating?
     
  2. Rodster macrumors 68040

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    May 15, 2007
    #2
    IMO, reflective glare is less of an issue on a tablet as opposed to a phone. I primarily use my iPad indoors. As far as coating goes and will it wear out over time, no only knows the answer just yet, way too soon but I doubt it should be an issue. I doubt Apple wants to create an anti-coating gate. That's the premium tablet in the industry. As far as protectors go, a high quality screen protector should not cause a problem in the long run if the device is using glass instead of plastic.
     
  3. seadragon Contributor

    seadragon

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    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #3
    I have a feeling that this anti-reflective coating is potentially going to be a problem. Especially since it's a touch device. The coating is coming off on some rMBPs from what I've been reading.
     
  4. Rigby macrumors 601

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    San Jose, CA
    #4
    It'll probably be the same coating that Apple has been using on the iPhone since the 5. I have never heard of any problems with that. I don't use screen protectors though. It seems plausible that a strong adhesive could cause damage.
     
  5. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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    #5
    As long as it lasts 1 year, I'm good with it. The iPad Air 3 will solve that problem for me, and in the meantime AppleCare+ should fix any problems I run into.
     
  6. WillSR macrumors newbie

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    Jul 9, 2014
    #6
    They aren't stupid, they wouldn't have given it the coating if it was going to be a problem. I'm sure they have been wanting to do it for a while now and it's finally ready for prime time.
     
  7. slenpree macrumors 6502a

    slenpree

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    #7
    "Full lamination has a second major benefit: it eliminates the reflection of light off the LCD panel and off the back of the display’s cover glass. But we also figured out how to reduce reflection off the front of the glass without compromising colour quality. Instead of applying an anti-reflective coating to the glass in a conventional way, we adapted a process used on smaller surfaces like camera lenses and fighter pilots’ helmets. It’s called plasma deposition, and it involves coating the glass with layers of silicon dioxide and niobium pentoxide so precise and so thin they’re measured in atoms. The result: astoundingly low reflection — and vibrant, accurate colours."

    I guess it depends if plasma deposition is permanent or not. Not to be confused with the oleophobic fingerprint resistant coating which does wear down.
     
  8. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #8
    Not stupid but then we had the olephobic coating and I've had that wear out on my iPhone before. If its a coating, then that sits on top of the glass. It will wear out in time.
     
  9. slenpree macrumors 6502a

    slenpree

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    #9
    "thin film coatings are permanent"*

    *http://www.plasmatechnology.com/coating.php

    So the concept is that it creates a "new" surface. But i think the general opinion is that it can still be reversed with particular chemicals but normal cleaning with a cloth sounds ok.
     
  10. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #10
    Hopefully not the same as with normal camera lenses.. the coating can be damaged. Hmm.. anyone using a stylus daily?
     
  11. AnthonyS621 macrumors member

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    Oct 30, 2014
    #11
    I don't know if it's the same coating as the 6+ but the coating on my phone already has microscratches they are really hard to see but you can tell it is just the coating.
     
  12. NJHitmen macrumors member

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #12
    Apologies if this is a dumb question - but do we know if the coating is applied to the inside or to the outside of the glass?

    Watch faces frequently use anti-reflective coating too, and often it's applied to the inside (largely so there's no risk of rubbing it off/scratching it).

    Obviously an oleophobic coating would need to be applied to the outside, but there's no technical reason why an antireflective coating couldn't go on the inside. I just have no idea if Apple has explicitly stated one way or the other.
     
  13. AnthonyS621 macrumors member

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    Oct 30, 2014
    #13
    No clue that's a good question though. All I know is the oleophobic coating scratches easily imo
     
  14. mrex, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014

    mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #14
    it has to be on the screen, otherwise it wont help to reduce reflections. but there might be differend kind of coatings...

    law of reflection
     
  15. NJHitmen macrumors member

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    Oct 8, 2010
    #15
    Looking at your diagram, and knowing just a little (very little) about optics, I can agree that such a coating may well work better if applied to the outside - but the laws of reflection don't preclude deposition on the interior surface. So it has to be on the screen, yes, but it could certainly be deposited on the inside surface.

    I can link you to dozens of watches that have just an interior AR coating; I own a couple myself, and I can tell you it works fine. Some watches actually have double coatings, both on the inside and outside of the crystal (which I assume is the most effective setup). Maybe that's what Apple did?

    Now I'm kinda curious, I'll see if I can dig up any info.
     
  16. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #16
    no it doesnt, and thats why there probably may be several coatings. but if you want to reduce straight reflections, there must be a coating to reduce them. when a light meets the screen (transparency, optically denser), some of the light reflects back always but most of the light goes through and refracts and reflects back again...
     
  17. marcosscriven macrumors regular

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    Jul 27, 2006
    #17
    The way anti-reflection works on camera lenses, and even eye glasses, isn't actually stopping the reflection as such, but by making a layer that's one quarter of a wavelength thick, so that light that bounces off the top of the layer destructively interferes with the light that bounces off the bottom of the layer.

    Why one quarter? Because then you get one quarter of a wavelength as the light is traveling to the back of the coating, and another quarter as it bounces back to the surface of the coating, where upon it meets the light coming back exactly half a wavelength out of phase, and cancels out.

    That's why they talk about it being 'atoms thick', although, still a few thousand atoms.
     
  18. Diversion macrumors 6502a

    Diversion

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    #18
    How do we know the anti reflective coating wasn't done to the backside of the screen, not the exterior side we all touch?
     
  19. puma1552 macrumors 601

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    Nov 20, 2008
    #19
    oleophobic coating has to be on top, so we need not worry about the antireflective properties.
     
  20. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #20
    yeah, this is the more scientific explanation how some coating works. i was simple saying that there needs to be the coating on the screen. if it is behind the screen, the reflection is differend and there wont be any phase change. and how i see it with my eyes: reduced or not reduced reflections. (and it doesnt sound very scientific for people who works with science, i know, i have a m.sc. degree too)
     
  21. MarcBook macrumors 6502a

    MarcBook

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    #21
    What are you using to clean the glass? I only use microfibre cloths on my iPhone display and it has absolutely no scratches, not even micro surface scratches.

    It's a pleasant surprise for me, since my previous iPhones have always developed surface scratches (in the coating) within a few days of normal use. The new ion-strengthened glass has so far been incredible.
     
  22. AnthonyS621 macrumors member

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    Oct 30, 2014
    #22
    I use microfiber when possible but 90% of the time I'm out and wiping it with the underside of my shirt
     
  23. mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

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    NYC
    #23
    Apple has done PLENTY of things knowing full well, and sometimes not knowing at all, that it would be a problem.
     
  24. MarcBook macrumors 6502a

    MarcBook

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    #24
    Oh right... That could be the issue, then. Although I get some odd looks, I always carry a small microfibre cloth with me and it works wonders. :p

    I also tend to have my iPad with me, however, so I guess it's forgivable.
     
  25. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    #25
    I've actually never had this happen to any of my glasses. The coating looks the same today as when they were new.

    I'm very careful to blow off any particles of dust/sand which may be on my glasses before wiping though, and I only use a microfiber cloth, not the corner of my shirt or tie as I see other people doing.
     

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