During CES 2014 US firm Corning announced that its Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass is now ready for orders. This special touchscreen glass contains ionic silver, a substance which has been known to fight germs for over 100 years.
Corning said that the glass can combat bacteria and fungi, with the protection lasting for the lifetime of the device that it is built in to.
Although some investors have voiced concerns about Corning’s competitior, GT Advanced Technologies, Corning itself has faith in the product.
“This innovation combines best-in-class antimicrobial function without compromising Gorilla Glass properties,” said the firm’s senior vice president James Steiner.
It’s Only Your Germs
Professor Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, doesn’t think germs on your devices are a problem. “Touchscreens are a source of a wide range of microbes, but not much of an issue if you do not share it among other people – since, if you are the only one using it, it’s only your germs, he said.
Yet despite that opinion, a components expert from Techanalysis Research consultancy thinks there is a gap in the market for this type of product.
“This gives Corning an edge, even if it’s a bit of an odd edge,” said Bob O’Donnell. “There are clearly folks in the world who are very concerned about germs and carry antibacterial hand gel in their pockets. If vendors opt to pay extra for this glass I’m sure they will talk about its abilities. But it’s likely to be only a small niche of people for whom this would be the deciding factor when choosing between products,” he continued.
Currently Apple, Amazon LG, HTC and Samsung are among some of the companies using Corning’s products.
Corning has said that the new Gorilla Glass is ready for high-volume production and that several tech manufacturers are already testing it.
[Image via gizmodo]