Corning, the company behind the toughened glass brand Gorilla Glass – as well as the excellent glass cookware that many people use day-to-day – has announced today a new glass product, but this time it’s for the device on your wrist, not your phone.
Gorilla Glass SR+, is designed for wearables and comes after Corning announced Project Phire back in 2015. Project Phire was a concept that aimed to meld the scratch-resistant properties of Sapphire with Glass to create a stronger composite material. Gorilla Glass SR+ does just that with Corning advising this new material can deliver ‘up to 70 percent better damage resistance against impacts and 25 percent better surface reflection than those alternative materials’.
Since they stormed onto the market a few years back, the smart wearables market has been growing immensely. American market research and analysis firm IDC is seeing a big future for wearables, making this announcement for stronger screens a big one. IDC has forecast worldwide shipments of wearable devices reaching 101.9 million units by the end of this year with that figure growing to 213.6 million units worldwide in 2020.
Gorilla Glass SR+ is designed to take the usual bumps, knocks and scrapes that wearables, which includes watches and anything with a glass covered surface, see on a day to day basis. The covering also maintains ‘the optical clarity and touch sensitivity required for on-the-go connectivity’.
Speaking about the new material, Scott Forester, director, innovation products, Corning Gorilla Glass said
In early 2015, Corning launched Project Phire with the goal of engineering glass-based solutions with the scratch resistance approaching luxury cover materials, combined with the superior damage resistance of Gorilla Glass. Corning Gorilla Glass SR+ delivers a superior combination of properties that is not available in any other material today – it is in a class of its own.
Gorilla Glass has been used in a number of Android Wear watches as well as the Pebble Steel (and Apple Watch), though not all manufacturers choose to go the way of glass for their watches instead opting for Sapphire Glass like the Huawei Watch, or Plastic O-LED like the LG G Watch R. This does give manufacturers another option though, so it will be interesting to see who adopts it, as Corning says, the material is available commercially now so it could be on a device on your wrist soon. Corning says that devices using Gorilla Glass SR+ will be available on the market later this year.