Low key as it may be in the world of consumer tech, the glass we use in any of our gadgets isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, we’ll be using more and more, especially with the proliferation of touchscreen technology. Yet glass as a surface is surprisingly easy to break. One drop on the ground and crack. Broken, shattered, or just cracked enough that the picture doesn’t go through. Hell, just a few weeks ago I brought my brother’s iPod Touch to be repaired because he managed to drop it on a corner, and cracked the screen. It was brand new.

Gorilla Glass is one solution to that problem. Their method of making glass provides up to four times the strength, but as you saw in the video above, it’s not necessarily about the glass strength alone. The glass must be able to take punishment after wear. For products like TVs, that may not be a problem, but for a cellphone or tablet? Cameras? Refrigerators with touchscreens? Any glass we touch and use often is subject to breaking down over time, and the last thing any of us needs is to have it break in our hands.

Corning, the company behind Gorilla Glass, has already worked with many major manufacturers to produce products with their stronger, more durable glass built in, including Sony, Samsung, LG, Dell, Acer and others. In fact, we’ve reviewed two products with Gorilla Glass, the Samsung Fascinate and Epic 4G. One more product I’m currently testing, the Samsung Galaxy Tablet, uses Gorilla Glass. Perhaps if Samsung has no qualms with it, we’ll test the strength of the glass.

The video above showed a demonstration of how easy it is to shatter real glass with some wear. After I shot the video, I gave it a go. I broke the standard glass easily. Then hardened glass was more difficult, but it went too. Then, finally, the Gorilla Glass. It made me feel weak, like a little girl. I couldn’t break glass! I put all the pressure I could using the tiny metal utensil I was given, but ended up hurting my hand and only denting Corning’s glass.

What does it mean? It means if you have a device with Gorilla Glass, you can relax just a little bit. If you drop that phone, like my father accidentally dropped the Fascinate while I tested it, it won’t scratch or worry you. Well, not too much anyways.



James Pikover

 
Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.