If you are one of the unlucky ones who always manage to end up with a shattered screen, Corning's Gorilla Glass 5 is definitely good news.
The newest version of Corning's Gorilla Glass technology, which is a chemically strengthened glass used for a variety of consumer devices such as smartphones, features significantly improved drop performance.
The Gorilla Glass 5's drop performance, according to Corning, is four times better than that of its predecessor, the Gorilla Glass 4 which was unveiled in the fall of 2014. The company did not sacrifice touch sensitivity and display clarity to make the improvement though, which makes the new version even better.
Corning said that the Gorilla Glass 5 will be able to survive facedown drops onto rough surfaces from as high as 5.2 feet at an 80 percent rate. This is an improvement of 2 feet from the Gorilla Glass 4's advertised capability of surviving drops from heights of up to only 3.2 feet.
A study by Corning revealed that more than 85 percent of smartphone owners have dropped their devices at least once every year, with 55 percent having dropped their smartphones at least three times every year. These findings pushed Corning to focus on improving the drop resistance of their glass for the Gorilla Glass 5.
According to Corning Gorilla Glass VP and general manager John Bayne, the need to improve the drop performance of the Gorilla Glass was due to the fact that most owners who drop their smartphones do so from a height of between their shoulders and waist. A maximum drop protection height of 3.2 feet will not be enough, and so Corning went to work in increasing the protected height with the Gorilla Glass 5.
However, it should be noted that the 80 percent rate for survival was done on the 0.6-millimeter Gorilla Glass. Corning has unveiled options for glass that is only 0.4 millimeters thick, and so owners of smartphones made by manufacturers who decided to use the thinner variant may not enjoy that high survival rate.
In addition, the tests were done with the device being dropped flat on its face. For instances when the smartphone would fall on its corner or its edge, Bayne said that the survival of the device's screen would depend not only on the Gorilla Glass, but also on the overall design of the smartphone.
The Gorilla Glass 5 is currently in production, and while Corning did not mention any smartphones that will be using the technology, it stated that it will be fitted into new devices that will be released this fall.
In April, Corning unveiled a new innovation in displays, namely the Vibrant Gorilla Glass, which will allow manufacturers to print high-resolution images on the glass cover.