When I look around me, all I see are cracked phone screens. No matter how many gorillas crafted those phone's screens, it always seems the tiniest drop will send shards flying, tears running, and wallets whimpering. Corning hopes to make that scenario a thing of the past with its recently-announced Gorilla Glass 5.
Gorilla Glass 4 already had impressive shatter-proofing specifications. 80% of phones with the stuff survived drops from a distance of one meter onto rough surfaces. That anti-shatter characteristic has gotten a substantial upgrade in the new version. Corning says that slabs of Gorilla Glass 5 should survive drops of up to 1.6 meters (or five feet, three inches) onto "rough, unforgiving surfaces." The company claims those figures make the new version of its Glass four times as strong as competing products.
Although empirical testing by our collective Mark I eyeballs says "everybody drops their phones," Corning backs up its claim with an internal study. The company's statistics eggheads say that 85% of smartphone users have dropped their devices at least once, and a further 55% of those users have dropped them three times or more. (Butterfingers, anyone?) The 1.6-meter target for Gorilla Glass 5 isn't an arbitrary figure, either. 60% of the drops recorded in the study happened from waist to shoulder height.
Saying that Gorilla Glass is everywhere would be an understatement. Corning says its material has been used in 4.5 billion devices worldwide across all major mobile device manufacturers. Gorilla Glass 5 is "commercially available" now, and we should start seeing devices dressed in it later this year.