Next-Gen Gorilla Glass May Be Germ Resistant

During the MIT Mobile Technology Summit, Dr. Jeffrey Evenson, senior vice president and operations chief of staff for Corning, talked about the anti-reflection and the anti-microbial abilities of the next-generation Gorilla Glass. He also insisted that glass is an ideal enclosure for advanced display technologies such as OLEDs.

Why? Because OLEDs decay rapidly if exposed to water or oxygen, and it takes 30 billion years for a molecule of oxygen to pass through a piece of 1-millimeter-thick sheet of glass. That same trip would take a mere two weeks through the same thickness of plastic, he said.

That scenario leads to Corning's anti-reflection technology. Evenson showed a slide of a hand holding a sheet of normal glass used to cover a tablet. In the center of the sheet was a large hole about the size of an orange, only it wasn't an actual hole; it was a portion treated with Corning's anti-reflection tech. Unlike the rest of the sheet, this portion didn't reflect large amounts of the blue sky and flowing clouds in the sky above.

According to Corning, device screen visibility in the sunlight is heavily reduced even when at their brightest setting because the front glass is unable to reduce mirror reflections -- the best panels barely go below 5 percent reflectivity. Thus, the company is looking to bring that down to a percentage larger than thin air. The example circle still reflected the sky above, but it was barely noticeable, allowing the green grass underneath to be viewed almost perfectly compared to the rest of the tablet-sized sheet.

In addition to reducing reflections, Corning is also working to incorporate antimicrobial tech into Gorilla Glass that will supposedly kill germs and viruses that can stick on a phone or tablet screen. This will be a coating, and a provided example showed that after thirty minutes, a number of invisible bugs lounging around on the glass were eliminated. After two hours, all bacteria and viruses were wiped clean without user intervention.

That in itself is good news for those who share devices in a home or office. Unfortunately, it may be a few years before consumers see these two new technologies in sheets of glass covering their favorite smartphone, tablet or some other computational or entertainment device that requires touch.

"Corning understands how formulation and fabrication determine the atomic state and structure of a glass. These, in turn, control the mechanical, thermal, and optical properties of the glass," the company said. "Corning’s knowledge of glass properties, and how glass operates in combination with application requirements, allows the company to solve tough customer problems."

The company also provided its 90 second look into a future full of glass, touch and plenty of white called "A Day Made of Glass."

  • Art Faucett
    And Kardashians friends rejoice.
  • Estix
    Breed superbugs right on your smartphone!
  • aoneone
    Will it kill cancer cells and/or AIDS virus? Thx in advance!! ^_^
  • wavetrex
    HIV dies outside the body on it's own...

    However the video is cool. We've been seeing these kind of things in SciFi movies for quite a while, I wonder when they will actually become reality?
  • Darkk
    I am not sure why we need anti-bacterial glass? Isn't good ole windex wipe good enough?

    I am excited about the anti-glare glass for the tablets and cell phones. Very annoying in bright light situations.
  • darkavenger123
    What i really want is oil, smudges and fingerprint resistant. Call me when you make one.
  • antilycus
    I've dropped every smart phone i've had, without a case, multiple times. I buy a nice one with Gorilla glass and this happens the first time it is dropped.

    Replacement cost on the phone, 750 dollars. Gorilla Glass = broken phone. There is no point in having a nice looking phone if you have to have a gaudy arse case on it. Just get something that has a plastic cover, not a glass one. Gorilla glass is lame.
  • eklipz330
    anti-microbial is actually a good idea if you think about it a second... your touchscreen has to be -the- dirtiest thing you carry around with you. and no, not everyone wants to carry around clorox wipes with you everywhere.
  • vaughn2k
    11208893 said:
    I am not sure why we need anti-bacterial glass? Isn't good ole windex wipe good enough?


    I think it was designed to prevent OLED or any "advance display technology" from deterioration due to oxygen/hydrogen + sunlight or simply a moisture resistant enclosure. These 2 elements does not only invite moisture, but will also cause some germs (and bacteria) to "breath life" which also accelerates deterioration.
  • martel80
    How about making the glass shatter-proof instead of this useless anti-bacterial? Too great a challenge? Or is it the fear of their sales going down once people stop shattering their displays?