Corning’s antimicrobial Gorilla Glass can kill bacteria on your smartphone

It’s no secret that smartphones are gross. More than 59 percent of phone users have confessed to using their device in the bathroom, and those are just the people willing to admit as much to a survey. Bathroom habits aside, we use our smartphones so much, and in so many different places, it’s hard not to see them as purveyors of bacteria and disease. Luckily Corning, the manufacturer of Gorilla Glass, is doing something about this. On Monday the company unveiled the world’s first antimicrobial Gorilla Glass.

Corning’s new Gorilla Glass is formulated with ionic silver, an antibacterial agent. Corning claims it’s implementation of the glass with silver can inhibit the growth of algae, bacteria, fungi, mildew and mold. According to CNet, the glass might be able to repel up to 99.9 percent of bacteria. It’s completely safe to use, and Corning even had its claims verified by the EPA last year. Best of all, unlike antibacterial wipes or sprays, the ionic silver doesn’t wear off within just a few seconds. And Corning was able to add the silver while preserving the properties of Gorilla Glass, so it’ll still provide the same level of protection. You can get a good idea of how it works in the video below:

Corning’s antimicrobial glass is currently being tested with a number of manufacturers for various applications, and will be shown off at CES in the RoomWizard by Steelcase, a web-based room scheduling system. The glass can be installed on any number of electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, computers, calculators, telephones, and other electronic display panels. Corning mentions that other common usage scenarios might include frequently touched surfaces in health care and transportation industries.

In addition to the antimicrobial Gorilla Glass, Corning last week announced the manufacturing readiness of a 3D glass-forming technology for 3D-shaped Gorilla Glass. This could make Gorilla Glass a strong candidate in the burgeoning field of curved-screen wearables.