SHARING AMERICA'S TECH NEWS FROM THE VALLEY TO THE ALLEY
by James Plafke (courtesy ExtremeTech)
Each iteration of Corning’s Gorilla Glass makes our devices sturdier, protecting our delicate, expensive mobile smartphones and tablets from minor harm. Gorilla Glass generally won’t protect a phone from a fall to the floor from a tall counter top, but will protect from scratches and lighter impacts. Now, Corning is looking to bring Gorilla Glass to the world of automobiles.
At this year’s MIT Technology Review’s Mobile Summit, Corning vice president Jeffrey Evenson stated that the company is planning to bring its famous Gorilla Glass to automobiles — and very soon, at that. Since Gorilla Glass weighs less than the regular glass used in vehicles today, engineers will have a bit of room to modify a vehicle’s weight distribution when in the design and planning process. This could alter a vehicle’s center of gravity, thus helping automobiles run more efficiently, saving a bit of gas each trip.
Adding Corning’s glass to vehicles would not only cut down on its overall weight, but would help suppress noise inside the vehicle more than cars tend to now. The basic benefits of Gorilla Glass, those of a stronger, damage-resistant glass, would also apply to a vehicle. A windshield would become more resistant to damage, perhaps preventing minor nicks and scratches from everyday road debris encountered while driving, like when a pebble bounces onto your windshield while driving on the highway.
Playing coy, Evenson said that he expects Gorilla Glass to break into the world of vehicles as early as next year, with one unnamed high-end car manufacturer already planning to integrate it into its designs. He also mentioned some of Corning’s other projects that are currently in development, such as the flexible Willow Glass, which we may begin to see in a new type of mobile device in the near future. He also spoke of an antimicrobial glass that would kill bacteria on impact, making the glass something of a perpetually clean surface. However, Evenson did not mention if these projects were related to automobile Gorilla Glass in any way.
If you’re worried that the development of super-thin and flexible Willow Glass, as well as development of seemingly magical bacteria-killing glass, might cause Gorilla Glass to be on the way out, fear not. If Corning can break into the automobile industry with their super glass, then that’s an enormous untapped market in which the resilient glass can live a happy life. If Evenson’s projections are right, then we’ll only have to wait a year to see how it plays out.
Thank you. TiA.