Doorknobs. Keyboards. Mobile electronics of all kinds. I'll take "things that are always covered in germs and crap, and which I really prefer not to think about" for $400, Alex. Yes, all the things you touch every day have a nasty habit of leaving gunk on your touchscreen phone - it's kind of part and parcel of the whole "touch" thing. But Corning wants to make you feel a little less gross when you think about that with its new version of the ubiquitous Gorilla Glass.
Odds are good that when you use a smartphone or tablet, you're touching Gorilla Glass. Since its debut in the original iPhone, Gorilla Glass has gone on to become the de facto standard for hardened glass on screens. Today the company is announcing Gorilla Glass 4, which it says is twice as durable as the competition.
What's that on your phone? Gorilla Glass 2? Psh, I guess that's alright for 2012, but Corning is about to make 2013 one whole digit more durable with Gorilla Glass 3. As is the tradition, Corning will be on hand at CES with Gorilla Glass 3 samples for the assembled press to beat up as a demonstration of its durability. How durable is it? Corning thinks it's pretty alright.
Corning's new strengthened glass has been tweaked at the molecular level to slow the spread of cracks and make scratches less visible.
It seems that Corning is gearing up for an exciting CES this year (which is just a few short days from beginning), publishing a news release earlier today which details the glass giant's plans for the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow.
Corning's most significant offering at CES this month will be the unveiling of Gorilla Glass 2. The latest generation of Corning's hugely popular damage-resistant glass is said to deliver higher functionality in thinner devices, and "enable broader touch technology penetration," according to James Steiner, Senior VP and General Manager of Corning Specialty Materials.
When it was confirmed that the Galaxy Nexus doesn't have Gorilla Glass, it was as if the entire world into some sort of I'm going to scratch the hell out of it hysteria. It turns out that all the kerfuffle was for nothing, as one Galaxy Nexus owner decided to put that big beautiful screen to the test.
I admit, it was a little painful to watch, but the end result was nothing less than spectacular.
Given the incredible durability (and entertainment) that Gorilla Glass has provided the Galaxy S phones with, one might think that Samsung would be eager to carry the feature over to the Nexus S. Unfortunately, like 720p video recording, LED notifications (which are available on some Galaxy S variants but not others), and a microSD card slot, Gorilla Glass has not been included in the world's first Gingerbread phone.
The omission was probably necessitated by the curved glass that covers the phone's mug, but that doesn't make it any less disappointing, especially since the effects of the so-called "Contour Display" are barely noticeable (from what I hear).
Looks like Gorilla Glass is fast becoming the trend among tablets and smartphones - not only is Samsung slapping it on their Galaxy S devices, but the Tab as well. What's so great about Gorilla Glass? To quote Wikipedia:
Corning attributes the choice of Gorilla Glass superiority not only for "unparalleled damage resistance and protection" but:
"Thinner form factor: Gorilla Glass retains its performance advantage over standard chemically strengthened substrates even when used in thin form factors.
At this year's IFA, Asus has removed the layer of secrecy surrounding its upcoming Android Wear-powered ZenWatch. Unlike the Moto 360 or the LG G Watch R, Asus is not trying to wow us here with a circular display. The ZenWatch distinguishes itself by fitting a square screen behind a layer of curved glass and a hardware design that strives to be more than a plastic wrist computer. The watch sports a brown leather strap that's intended to add to its appeal.
At this point, we've got some really amazing technology in our smartphones, and not just on the inside. Corning's continued work on their Gorilla Glass has made phone screens amazingly resistant to scratches, and as soon as someone manages to figure out how to make synthetic sapphire faster and cheaper, they'll be even better. But no matter how tough your screen is, it's still glass, and dropping it on the pavement is an almost inevitable recipe for a broken screen.
Flexible displays are a great idea. Without flexible glass to go with it, though, some applications still remain difficult. Thankfully, Corning, the company behind Gorilla Glass (otherwise known as "the only type of glass you know by name"), has introduced a new flexible glass called Willow Glass. This new material is slim and strong, though we'd expect nothing less from Corning. The product will also allow manufacturers to pursue roll-to-roll processing which, if you're familiar with materials processing and manufacturing, you know is a very big deal.