Corning Unveils Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass, Kills Touch Screen Germs with Silver

| Product News

Touch devices like smartphones and tablets have literally changed the world, but one unfortunate aspect of these new technologies is the disgusting state of smeared, greasy, and occasionally sticky, finger-print-ridden displays. Device owners often try to keep up with the mess by frequently wiping down the screen, but even if it looks clean there may still be germs hiding in plain sight. Now, New York-based Corning thinks it has the solution.

Gorilla Glass Antimicrobial

The company, famous in the tech world for its Gorilla Glass products, announced at CES Monday a new Antimicrobial version of its glass, aimed at touchscreen devices. Advertised as the first EPA-registered antimicrobial cover glass, the technology promises to actively kill germs by baking ionic silver right into the outer layer.

Corning’s Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass inhibits the growth of algae, mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria because of its built-in antimicrobial property, which is intrinsic to the glass and effective for the lifetime of a device. This innovation combines best-in-class antimicrobial function without compromising Gorilla Glass properties. Our specialty glass provides an excellent substrate for engineering antimicrobial and other functional attributes to help expand the capabilities of our Corning Gorilla Glass and address the needs of new markets.

Corning’s antimicrobial glass won’t just keep your own personal devices free of invisible health hazards, it will also have great use with shared devices. One such device, a touch-based room scheduling tablet from Steelcase, will feature the new glass and is on display at CES. The company also states that the antimicrobial production process scales well for high-volume products like the iPhone.

While many touchscreen users currently use products like alcohol wipes to disinfect their devices, Corning points out that these solutions provide only temporary protection, and are often not recommended by device manufacturers, as the alcohol could damage traditional touch screens. This new glass may not keep your screen free of fingerprints, but it does promise to greatly reduce germs, which is arguably the more important issue with touch screens.

As for whether such a product will find its way into your next iDevice, recent reports suggest that Apple may move to sapphire glass, which it already uses to protect the camera on the iPhone. Corning undoubtedly hopes that its aggressive advancements in glass, including an upcoming flexible product called Willow Glass, will help it secure Apple’s future business in addition to that of other Android and Windows-based manufacturers.

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5 Comments Leave Your Own

geoduck

Sounds like a good idea but I wonder how quickly bacteria etc., will evolve a resistance to the antimicrobial glass. Never underestimate the power of evolution.

Lee Dronick

Geoduck, not only that, but germs are on all sorts of surfaces not easily silverplated, just wash your hands when appropriate. I would rather an even more effective oleoresistant surface, than one that is antimicrobial. Also would the silver be effective on a cold, flu, and such viruses?

GH

If you read the fine print about the antimicrobial, it states it only keep the glass from smelling and staining, it will not prevent or kill any germs that may be placed on the surface.  The EPA will not allow any claims.  Costco was fined many dollars for leading people to believe that their shopping carts that were treated with a antimicrobial material would prevent little Johnnys germ from getting on little Sally.\\

Wash your hands more.

Lee Dronick

I just did some quick research and silver is used in some medical applications because of its antibacterial properties. Linings for medical devices, eye drops, ointments for burns and skin conditions, and so on. 

As to keeping the phone from smelling. i just sniffed my iPhone and it doesn’t stink. I let my beagle sniff it and he didn’t react, but it is his nap time.

iJack

The world is covered in bacteria and other microbes.
That’s the way it works.
Most of a human’s body weight is comprised of microbes.
That’s the way it works.
Humans survive largely by a developed immune system.
They guy who invented anti-bacterial soap should be taken out and shot.
We’re going to end up killing ourselves by being too clean.
I am quite serious.

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