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Corning’s War On Germs: A Deeper Look At Corning’s Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass

by Brandon Russell | January 7, 2014January 7, 2014 12:35 pm EST

Phones are disgusting. Worse, even, than some surfaces you would think are dirtier, like a bathroom stall, or a Las Vegas slot machine. They pick up everything we’ve touched throughout the day, making them a breeding ground for some not so nice bacteria. Corning is hoping to reduce the amount of bacteria your smartphone collects by actually baking in new antimicrobial technology into its Gorilla Glass. Hopefully that means your smartphone will no longer be a disgusting sewer.

According to Corning, its new technology will help to reduce algae, mold, mildew, fungi and bacteria that is attracted to your screen. In turn, the antimicrobial silver baked embedded into your screen will protect you from the awful things you’ve touched that day. Corning is promising the technology will last for the lifetime of the device, meaning the embedded antimicrobial silver won’t deteriorate or get worse as you use it—even if you’re the dirtiest slob out there.

“By having the glass inherently antimicrobial, it basically reduces the level of bacteria 24/7,” a spokesperson for Corning said.

That doesn’t mean bacteria will be eliminated from devices of the future completely, but it’ll help reduce the gunk constantly collecting on your screen. The rest of your device will still be a cesspool of naughty bacteria, but at least your screen, which you’re constantly bringing to your face to talk, will be cleaner.

Corning demoed how it determines how dirty a device is. Answer: pretty dang dirty. Luckily advancements in technology are helping us to protect us from our own dirty mitts—maybe that means the CES plague will disappear forever. While the big news is that Corning can apply this to smartphone screens, the technology can also show up in important places such as hospitals, where applying antimicorbial silver into glass will fit in quite well. “Any high touch areas,” Corning said.

For a full rundown on Corning’s antimicrobial tech, and the potential applications going forward, check out our interview with a representative last night, and stay tuned for more CES content throughout the week.

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.