CES 2014: Corning Announces Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass to Fight Germs on Mobile Devices

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Following its announcement late last week regarding new "3D" curved Gorilla Glass for smartphones and other products, Apple's glass supplier Corning today officially announced its antimicrobial Gorilla Glass, incorporating ionic silver into the glass to inhibit growth of bacteria and other organisms.
"Corning's Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass inhibits the growth of algae, mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria because of its built-in antimicrobial property, which is intrinsic to the glass and effective for the lifetime of a device," said James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Specialty Materials. "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."
The new antimicrobial Gorilla Glass will be included in a new version of Steelcase's RoomWizard conference room scheduling device, which is being shown at CES this week in Las Vegas, and the company says that it is working with "numerous manufacturers" to develop applications for the material. The company has also demonstrated that it can produce antimicrobial Gorilla Glass in high volumes needed for popular products such as the iPhone.

Last year, Corning noted that it was working on antimicrobial technology as part of a feature arguing that Gorilla Glass 3 is a superior material compared to sapphire, which has been gaining attention as a potential future display covering. Late last year, it was revealed that Apple had reached an agreement with GT Advanced Technologies to develop a sapphire glass manufacturing facility in Arizona, with Apple building out the plant and GT Advanced operating it. Apple currently uses sapphire to cover the rear camera on several of its recent iOS devices and for the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s, but it appears that Apple may be looking to significantly expand the use of sapphire in its products.

Amid the increased talk of sapphire as a possible replacement for Gorilla Glass in future mobile devices, Corning is clearly continuing to push its technology forward, with the new techniques for curving the glass allowing for innovative new product designs and antimicrobial properties serving as another selling point for device manufacturers and consumers. Corning is also working on next-generation flexible "Willow Glass", but the company has indicated that it will be several years before that product can make its way into mobile device display assemblies.

Article Link: CES 2014: Corning Announces Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass to Fight Germs on Mobile Devices
 

furi0usbee

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2008
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Interesting, as the FDA is said to be cracking down on companies using antimicrobial additives in their products, like soap, etc. But I presume this isn't under the purview of the FDA.
 

Galatian

macrumors 6502
Dec 20, 2010
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Berlin
Interesting, as the FDA is said to be cracking down on companies using antimicrobial additives in their products, like soap, etc. But I presume this isn't under the purview of the FDA.
Should be...FDA fears growth of resistances to certain substances but the 3D-Surface sounds more like silver in it's properties to which bacteria just can't develop resistances.

Also: Yay, I can finally go back to an Apple store and touch the stupid iPads they use to showcase iPod Nanos /s
 

FirstNTenderbit

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2013
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Atlanta
Nice. I can see this going over pretty well with business and commercial interests. Airports, hotels, malls, or anywhere a shared touch panel is used. Eventually in the Apple stores where the products are constantly touched by a multitude of people daily.
 

Nunyabinez

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2010
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Interesting, as the FDA is said to be cracking down on companies using antimicrobial additives in their products, like soap, etc. But I presume this isn't under the purview of the FDA.
Exactly. The FDA is demanding that they show that there is actually some kind of health benefit from these anti-bacterials, because there is a lack of scientific basis for their claims.

I almost never get colds and I never use any antibacterial anything. I do wash my hands at appropriate times (or as my wife says, I rinse them since I don't always use soap).

Maybe it's my constitution that keeps me from getting sick, but all this antibacterial crap just makes people paranoid.
 

Jsameds

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Apr 22, 2008
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Douglas Adams strikes again, but little did he know the telephones would automatically sanitise themselves.
 

Georgij

macrumors regular
Mar 11, 2013
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0
That means that there would be an app iSoap? That kills germs when you rub your skin with your iPhone.

I think that what they mean is that it is bacteriostatic, which means that it doesn't kill bacteria but instead doesn't allow it to multiply and germs just naturally die. One example of bacteriostatic material is copper, because of that property it is often used as water pipes.
 

pbateman

macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2009
276
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You know the reason they did this was was due to everyone browsing while sitting on the toilet....
 

jmgregory1

macrumors 68000
The idea that everything we touch needs to be antibacterial or have antibacterial / antimicrobial properties is not good. It's why the FDA is going to crack down on soaps - because we need to be exposed if we want to build up tolerance or immunity to these things. The world isn't sterile, and we shouldn't be trying to make it such.
 

ProVideo

macrumors 6502
Jun 28, 2011
427
157
Protection from fecal bacterial contamination for those that like to browse their phones and tablets while on the toilet. Now when I smear poo on my phone I won't have to run to get the Lysol and clean it off. I can let it be knowing that I am protected.
 

sulpfiction

macrumors 68040
Aug 16, 2011
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But if it doesn't kill the bacteria, then bacteria transferred from all the dirty fingers touching the screen would still reside there. Just not mutate and spread.
 

ceriess

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2003
64
56
If you lick off your phone periodically there aren't that many germs left. Especially if you drink as much alcohol as I do.
 

nazaar

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2008
574
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No one else uses my iPhone... no worries here. And I never believe these claims anyways.
 

WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
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Hospitals already have their own systems for using the iPad, such as disposable or cleanable enclosures or bags.
And it's not good enough. Anything that helps is good. We're entering the post-antibiotic era, and we need new technologies to kill the superbugs.
 

RokkenRock

macrumors member
Aug 24, 2010
50
7
This thing still scratches and shatters so if sapphire indeed is more scratch resistant and more resistant to shattering I am all for apple making the switch.
 

NightFox

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May 10, 2005
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I can see some benefits to those in environments like hospitals, but for the rest of us I think it's just a gimmick. Think of the amount of shared surfaces you touch every day - door handles, vending machines, money, grab-rails on public transport... and even shaking hands with other people. Yet we don't seem to be dropping like flies just yet. I'm not sure having an "antimicrobial" phone (which you probably don't even share with anyone else anyway) is really going to make much difference to our health at all.
 

nwcs

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2009
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Antibacterial products and properties can be nice but they have no effect on colds or flus which are viruses spread through moisture in the air. So I think this is more of a gimmick than anything else to allay fears of hypochondriacs. It will still have some minor benefit, though. Maybe.
 

Thunderhawks

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Feb 17, 2009
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Exactly. The FDA is demanding that they show that there is actually some kind of health benefit from these anti-bacterials, because there is a lack of scientific basis for their claims.

I almost never get colds and I never use any antibacterial anything. I do wash my hands at appropriate times (or as my wife says, I rinse them since I don't always use soap).

Maybe it's my constitution that keeps me from getting sick, but all this antibacterial crap just makes people paranoid.
Same with antibiotics. All overuse of anything will produce resistant strains.

I also rarely get sick and attribute it to the fact that I was allowed to be sick when I was a child. No shots or ABs for every little thing.

Earache = infrared lamp and crying until the pain was gone
Any other injury = let it bleed until it cleaned itself.
Band-Aid = say what, better be gushing and needed to help together.

Used to swim in the dirty Rhine river in Germany, with wounds and all. Never an issue.

Between natural immunity provided by mothers via nursing and overuse of ABs and growth hormones in our food supply, we will have a lot of fun in the future.
 
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