Video: Corning challenges sapphire glass toughness claims | Bangkok Post: tech

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Video: Corning challenges sapphire glass toughness claims

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Gorilla Glass maker Corning is using some guerrilla marketing tactics to boost its product amidst all the hype surrounding sapphire glass. 

Whether it’s an Android, BlackBerry, Apple or even Windows Phone product, all current smartphones have one thing in common – their displays are protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass. Incredibly thin and light yet impressively strong, it’s the reason why phones (mostly) survive the wear and tear of modern life, from accidental falls to rubbing up against house keys in a handbag.

Sapphire glass, on the other hand, is universally accepted as being the toughest, strongest elemental substance next to diamond and, although it is much more expensive to create, can lay claim to being used by the military for making armor and by the world’s leading luxury watchmakers for protecting their precious timepieces.

What’s more, new techniques mean that production costs are coming down to the point where it will soon become affordable to phone makers. As such, Apple already uses sapphire glass, rather than Gorilla Glass, to protect the rear-facing camera on its iPhone 5.

However, Corning has hit back with a video demonstration to show its glass is four times stronger than its sapphire counterpart. Jeffery W. Evenson, senior vice president, explains of the demo: “Discussion seems to center around sapphire as an obvious solution for a cover material. What would people say if someone invented a cover that was about half the weight, used 99% less energy to make, provided brighter displays, and cost less than a tenth of sapphire? I think they’d say that sapphire was in real trouble. It so happens that we at Corning already invented that cover – and it’s called Gorilla Glass.”

James R. Steiner, Corning’s Specialty Materials senior vice president and general manager also revealed that the company is currently developing a coating for its products that will help to kill germs: “We are working on native antimicrobial technology to attack and eliminate most of the bacteria and germs found on surfaces. Once we are ready to commercialize this version of Gorilla Glass, the application possibilities are enormous, including hospitals, public spaces, schools, and mobile devices and so forth.”

So one thing consumers can look forward to in the next generation of smartphones and tablets are even tougher screens that work in bright sunlight and stay clean.


Watch the video demonstration: http://bcove.me/pchscwoc

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