Technically known as alkali-aluminosilicate sheet glass, Gorilla Glass by Corning has given electronic device owners much more confidence in handling our devices. I suppose that is a good way of saying that we have a not-so-free pass to be a little more negligent. That’s because this material is practically resistant to damage. Of course, the thinness and lightness of Gorilla Glass also make it the perfect choice as screen material for our shiny tablets and phones.
Sometime in the future, though, Gorilla Glass might be ousted from its pedestal. By no less than a precious stone. Sapphire.
I suppose that mobile gadget screens are not the first thing that come to mind when sapphire is mentioned. Understandably, a beautifully glowing blue stone is probably what you’re thinking of. What researchers are looking at, however, is not that naturally occurring precious stone. Instead, they are doing loads of work on manufactured sapphire.
Fancy sapphire screens?
Sapphire is now being considered as the future material for screens that are tough as tough can be, thanks to the hardness and durability of the stone. It only comes second to diamond in terms of hardness. That means if we get sapphire screens, we really do not have to worry about scratches or cracks. (As great as Gorilla Glass is, screens today still do shatter.) Currently, it already has applications in the military – as transparent armor and protection for vehicles. I can just see the US DoD going for this kind of development!
The main issue with sapphire screens is the price. Gorilla Glass is rather cheap, but sapphire will cost about 10 times as much to use in gadgets – at the current state of things. Researchers are hoping that in the next few years, we will see a decline in the price of manufactured sapphire, thanks to more competition and better technology. And, if this does happen, we just might see the material on our every day gadgets.
[Image via digitaltrends]