NextGen Gorilla Glass Will Protect Laptop Touch Screens
July 29, 2013

NextGen Gorilla Glass Will Protect Laptop Touch Screens

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

As more laptop makers begin to look to touch as the next wave in mobile computing, they'll begin looking for ways to protect the largest component of these devices -- the touch screen.

Corning Incorporated announced today it is ready to supply that glass to these manufacturers and announced its latest covering called Corning Gorilla Glass NBT. The glass maker promises this glass will protect notebook touchscreens from fingerprints and scratches that could later turn into real damage. Additionally the glass is said to keep the visibility of scratches to a minimum, helping keep any touch-enabled notebook looking better longer.

Dell has already signed an order sheet for Gorilla Glass NBT and should start shipping these new touch laptops "this fall." Apple and others also use existing Gorilla Glass options, and according to earlier reports, the iPhone maker could continue their relationship with Corning to develop a flexible glass display for use in the hotly anticipated and heavily rumored "iWatch."

In a press statement, Corning's senior vice president and general manager James Steiner hails Gorilla Glass NBT as eight to ten times more scratch resistant than existing soda-lime glass options. This kind of glass is most often used in window panes and other common glass products. The PR speak continues as Steiner claims his company's product also makes good economic sense for companies like Dell. According to Steiner, NBT can be had for only one to two percent of the total cost of the laptops in which they'll be installed.

It's the common pawing, scratching and wiping which accompany normal everyday use which Corning says they want to protect against. As a touchscreen device is used throughout several months, it can build up scratches and blemishes which may compromise the overall integrity of the product.

The company also says it has conducted consumer research and found that notebook owners are complaining about errant scratches four times more frequently than other mobile device owners. Rather than replace the cover screen or replace the device, Corning says it would prefer that notebook owners simply have a screen that matches the life cycle of the rest of the device.

Dell has bought into the NBT hype and will be responsible for bringing this new kind of glass to market as early as the next few months.

"As a leader in touch-enabled computing, Dell is always seeking the finest materials to ensure our notebook screens are impact and scratch resistant," explained Dell's vice president over PCs, Sam Burd, in a press statement. "We're integrating Corning Gorilla Glass NBT into our new client devices launching this fall, further enhancing our industry leading product reliability and durability."

During this year's Consumer Electronics Show the company showed off Gorilla Glass 3, a form of glass that they later claimed could outperform even sapphire.

The company has also produced a form of flexible glass that they claim could be used to receive touch input on Apple's rumored iWatch. Called Willow Glass, the bendable material could be used on Apple's first foray into wearable computing. According to rumors and patent filings, this watch could wrap around the wrist like slap bracelets of old and pair with iPads and iPhones via Bluetooth.