Corning's antimicrobial Gorilla Glass: A must have for kiosks

Corning's antimicrobial Gorilla Glass: A must have for kiosks

Summary: Corning's latest iteration of Gorilla Glass has antibacterial agents built in and should be coming to kiosks and other germ friendly touchscreens in the near future.

gorilla glass anti germ


Corning showed off its first antimicrobial Gorilla Glass and probably became must have touchscreen cover for hotel and airport kiosks everywhere.

At the Consumer Electronics Show Monday, Corning touted its latest Gorilla Glass. The glass has ionic silver as antibacterial agent and controls levels to kill germs and keep Gorilla Glass functioning.

Corning said in a statement:

As touch technologies proliferate, consumers are becoming aware of how bacteria can exist on mobile devices, particularly as we increasingly share touch-enabled surfaces at home, work, and elsewhere.

Gee ya think? Anyone that has used a hotel kiosk or baggage claim terminal should be freaked out by the germs. Gorilla Glass to date has been used primarily on smartphones and tablets, but this germ-killing feature is going to open up a big market for Corning.

In other words, Gorilla Glass can really go big screen now beyond TVs. Corning said Steelcase is testing out the new antimicrobial Gorilla Glass, but other companies will follow. No company that depends on kiosks and lobby touch screens will want to be known as germ brokers.

Topics: CXO, CES

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  • I think it is for toilets

    There was a survey that said 30% of people use their smartphones in the toilet.

    I think someone should start manufacturing anti-microbial phone covers. Yes! That's a great idea.
  • Stupid Idea

    Bacteria are among the very oldest forms of life on earth, they have evolved to be able to survive in almost every imaginable environment on earth, even deep below the surface of the earth they are found in rocks and clay.

    It is just a matter of time before bacteria evolve to circumvent this "anti-bacterial" nonsense.

    Besides, this myopic fixation with anti-bacterial, cleanliness, and whatnot is just making humans more vulnerable by creating "SuperBugs"

    I think that the markets should reject this idiot idea...
    • I beg to differ

      Silver has been used as an antimicrobial for millennia, and it was only relatively recently in human history that it was supplanted by pharmaceutical antibiotics.

      Going back to the ancient Romans and Greeks, the antimicrobial properties of silver (and copper, too) have been employed, and it's still effective today.

      In modern medicine silver remains the best treatment for burn patients, and they still put it in the eyes of newborns to prevent infections and blindness.

      What you say is clearly true regarding the modern class of pharmaceutical antibiotics. After less than a century the earliest antibiotics have become useless, but you should check the science lest you make an ill informed assessment. Silver remains effective after thousands of years of use.
    • research silver

      this is redundant, but I agree with omboo9000. both silver and copper are greatly antibiotic. So much so in copper's case that the US gov't just approved copper as being used as an antimicrobial in various industrial applications; water pipes, medical applications, etc. There's a wikipedia dedicated to its efficacy; 'Antimicrobial properties of copper'. From my understanding, silver is even more so. Copper's 29, Silver is 47... both are metals, and as metals they are incredibly stable... but, silver caters towards a greater ionic stability (largely due to its elemental size) than copper does. Copper can also be more easily integrated into some organisms and, as such, (probably because it's smaller too), they can use it to weaponize against other things they don't like...

      as such, I agree with you, copper can... possibly cater towards the evolution of 'super bugs'.

      Silver... is no where near as easily done... for many many reasons. Corning is using ionized silver (less electrons than a balanced silver atom would contain), and, basically, it binds to charged particles... esp negatively charged ones... which most bacteria and viruses tend to be. c.diff is a gram-positive bacteria, and a very 'thick skinned' one at that... capable of existing for an incredibly long time 'out in the wild' (doors, shopping carts, escalator handles, in hospitals, etc)... but, the very properties of silver (largely including its size) mean a 'more chaotic' structure can exist within where both a 'clumping' of positive and negative charges can exist... as well even additional electrons can exist than the 47... while still staying 'stable enough'.. thus also attracting positively charged particles.

      The real worry is the evolution of aggressive biofilm creation, like Food Safety News recently reported the researchers at the National University of Ireland, Galway were showing. (google: Salmonella biofilms extremely resistant to disinfectants' and the top result should be the Food Safety News article) ... this would be the main mode of function that would be evolved by strains: increased quantities of and more difficult to penetrate 'qualities of' biofilm... but, again, once the silver is able to pierce through this, it would instantly kill it... and, being a metal, unlike the chemicals that wear off like MicroBan uses (but are also secretive about what they really are)... silver.. would just be... there. I'd really have liked to have seen those tests done in the Food Safety News article also have included a copper and as silver (coated?) surface... along with the glass, steel, tile, etc)

      I think you should look into how silver (and copper both) is (/are) antimicrobial... how their mode of function works... even in the case of aggressive salmonella... it would have to build up first... to produce this aggressive quantity of protective biofilm... and, quite simply... the surface being bonded with these ionic metals (not just coated with 'typical' antimicrobials)... quite simply doesn't give them time to... and, even if they were lucky... well, they ... still would be very unlikely to have a chance to evolve the information necessary to fully integrate these metals into their dna... and even if they did (incredibly unlikely)... have you seen the prices of silver & copper lately? even at a very low low of
  • Avoid germs? Lots of luck with that!

    One problem with all of these germophobic discussions: There is no way to avoid germs. They are in the air you breathe. Billions of them. The air is full of tiny dust particles. Where did you think the dust comes from that coats surfaces if you don't clean them off every so often? And guess what—those dust particles are germ carriers. Every time you breathe you are inhaling hundreds of millions of germs. Good thing we have immune systems. Germ phobias are over-rated. I ain't afraid of no germs! I'm bigger than they are!
  • Great for hot tubs too!

    Using silver for it's antimicrobial properties is a great idea. Any time you have more than one person using something you run the risk of passing germs. After touching a dirty screen it's easy enough to mitigate this risk by washing your hands. Germs picked up by using other shared items, such as hot tubs, aren't as easily washed away.
    That's why it's great that silver can be used not only for screens, but also for applications such as sanitizing hot tub and pool water. We've been using the copper, silver and zinc in our metal ionizers ( for nearly three decades to make standing bathing water safe without harsh chemicals like chlorine or bromine. It would be great if more objects that people handle or use every day such as door knobs or cell phones utilized silver to help keep everyone safe and sickness free.