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Handhelds Technology

Next-Gen Gorilla Glass: Smartphones Could Have Antibacterial, Anti-Glare Display 175

MojoKid writes "It's not too often that upcoming glass technology is worth getting excited over, but leave it to Corning to pique our interest. During a recent talk at MIT's Mobile Technology Summit, Dr. Jeffrey Evenson took to the stage to reiterate what it is about Gorilla Glass that makes it such an attractive product (something well evidenced given the majority of smartphones out there today implement it), as well as to give us a preview of what's coming. Having pretty much mastered Gorilla Glass where strength, scratch-resistance and general durability are concerned, the company is now looking to improve-upon it (possibly for Gorilla Glass 4) by making it non-reflective and germ-resistant. Imagine your smartphone sporting this — you'd finally be able to see the screen regardless of how bright the sun behind you is. Unfortunately, it appears that it won't be hitting our phones or tablets that soon. The estimate is 'in the next two years.'"
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Next-Gen Gorilla Glass: Smartphones Could Have Antibacterial, Anti-Glare Displays

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  • How about (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jkflying ( 2190798 ) on Monday July 08, 2013 @05:10AM (#44214319)

    To be honest, what I'd really like is anti-shatter.

  • Phobia... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 08, 2013 @05:15AM (#44214333)

    Really... anti-bacterial? I knew Americans had an obsession with bacteria but this is getting ridiculous. The do realize that the rest of the phone, yaknow the part you hold, is not going to be anti-bacterial? What would happen if the average American were to realize that his/her own body contains ten times more bacteria than cells? Ewwww, ewwww bacteria.....

  • Re:Phobia... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ebno-10db ( 1459097 ) on Monday July 08, 2013 @05:43AM (#44214387)

    Really... anti-bacterial? I knew Americans had an obsession with bacteria but this is getting ridiculous.

    For phones it's ridiculous (though possibly harmless) but what about ATM's and other touch screens that can be used by hundreds, possibly thousands, of people each day?

  • Re:resistance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cenan ( 1892902 ) on Monday July 08, 2013 @06:09AM (#44214445)

    The article isn't clear on what the antimicrobial coating does, but I'd hazard a guess that it is not an antibiotic but a surface that is too slippery for bacteria to attach to. An antibiotic agent would be pretty stupid and would degrade rapidly compared to the lifetime of the device (think: ATM), as opposed to a surface where bacteria just doesn't stick.

  • Re:Phobia... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Monday July 08, 2013 @07:38AM (#44214673)

    No. I've had luck here so far.

    But I'm quite sure that if I ever will catch one, it won't be from pressing my cellphone display against my ear. I'd me worried much more worried about those earbuds on my mp3-player or touching my keyboard before scratching my ear.

    But it might still be a valid point for ATM-Touchscreens.

    But always keep in mind that exposure to microorganisms is vital to develop a healthy immune system. sanitizing everything is bad for your long-term health. Anyone still thinks long-term at all nowadays?.

  • Re:How about (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday July 08, 2013 @08:08AM (#44214777) Journal

    To be honest, what I'd really like is anti-shatter.

    And what I'd really like are wings so I can fly. Just thought I'd point that out, since we aren't being realistic.

    To answer you more seriously, what you are asking for just isn't something that's going to happen predictably. They can't just focus on making it anti-shatter. If it ever happens, it's going to be more or less on accident. And even then, unless it's a HUGE breakthrough, you probably wouldn't be satisfied with it. The reason I say that is because look at what we currently have. The closest you'll currently find to what you are asking for is bullet proof glass, and despite the fact that it has no real restrictions for thickness, weight, scratch resistance, or clarity, when it does take a big impact it still leaves a tremendous scar (much like a rock chipping your car's windshield).

    Arguably, it isn't that 'anti-shatter' is unrealistic; but that it is unrealistic without sacrificing the other things that people want. Your old school, now-downright-shameful Nokia candybar was pretty damn shatter resistant. The screen portion of the outer shell is some sort of plastic(PC or PC+ABS, I think, don't have one in front of me), modestly thick, with a bit of curvature. The relatively soft plastic doesn't have that 'I am a slab of unobtanium carved out of the future by laser robots' thing going, and it scratches and dings pretty easily; but, if dropped, it usually just flexes a bit and dissipates most of the force harmlessly. A nontrivial gab between the outer shell and the (much more vulnerable) LCD also helps(as does the fact that, in their heyday, a replacement for a cracked/damaged faceplate was ~$5 at your local skeezy phone kiosk and could be installed by hand in seconds).

    Once you impose the requirement that the material be substantially scratch/ding resistant(thus demanding a very hard material), and the phone be very thin and the screen very bright(thus, along with the touch-sense requirements, demanding that the screen be packed closely against, or fused directly to, the outer shell, and that the outer shell be dead flat, with no room for strengthening geometry or flexing, even if it were flexible) You want something maybe a mm thick, dead flat, and optimized for hardness, to survive impacts without cracking? Now that is where you get into 'serious breakthrough' territory.

  • Re:How about (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c ( 8461 ) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Monday July 08, 2013 @08:44AM (#44214919)

    One meter? So that's just enough to stand in water up to your head

    It's enough to survive a dunk in the toilet (and subsequent washing in the sink) or a drop into a puddle. In other words, it'd cover 95% of water damage a typical phone might be subjected to.

  • Re:How about (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rvw ( 755107 ) on Monday July 08, 2013 @08:51AM (#44214935)

    Well, reception kinda sucks 30m down, so....

    Ha ha, but if I drop my phone in a pool, I want it to still work when I pick it up. 1 meter won't give me that. It's useless, like most Sony products.

    Most people don't have to dive deeper than 10cm to pick their phone up - from the toilet.

  • Re:Phobia... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Monday July 08, 2013 @10:28AM (#44215647)
    Really? Americans? It's a phobia? You ever notice how all major plagues recently started in Asia, where their health standards and practices are summed up by raw meat hanging on a wooden peg on an open street market?
  • Re:How about (Score:4, Insightful)

    by scheme ( 19778 ) on Monday July 08, 2013 @11:08AM (#44215977)

    If you want a surface that is scratch resistant, you need to get something that's really hard. If you want something that is shatterproof, you want something that is soft or can flex enough to absorb impacts. You'll need a breakthrough to find something that's both. Manufacturers went the scratch-proof way because it's more likely that your phone would be in your pocket with keys, coins, etc. than being regularly dropped.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard