TOUGHENED GLASS MAKER Corning has announced the latest weapon in the battle against germ-ridden electronic devices.
The latest iteration of its Gorilla Glass, which is used by many consumer electronics device makers to prevent broken screens, has an antimicrobial element, making it resistant to germs, viruses, fungi, and other nasties.
The company's new formula relies on ionised silver, which it said has been used as an antibacterial for thousands of years but had to be perfected in order not to compromise the tensile strength of the glass or its electro-conductive qualities that are essential for touchscreen devices.
James Steiner, SVP and GM of Corning Specialty Materials said, "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."
As well as protecting you from germy unwashed fingers touching your tablet, antimicrobial glass will also offer the same benefit to those who use touchscreen information kiosks, bank teller machines and other devices that could see thousands of grubby fingerprints daily.
The properties of ionised silver are claimed to be lifelong, possibly leading to a lynchmob from manufacturers of sanitising wipes and antibacterial hand gels. It is not known whether any of these organisations will attempt to ape the Gorilla Glass patent.
Corning parent company Mooreco reportedly is working with a range of electronics makers with a view to making antimicrobial glass products available later this year. µ