CES 2014: Anti-bacteria Gorilla Glass announced
A new type of touchscreen glass that combats bacteria and fungi has been unveiled. US firm Corning said its Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass contains ionic silver, a substance that has been used to fight germs for more than 100 years. The speciality glass-maker said the protection against germs would last for the lifetime of devices that used it.
One components expert said he believed there was a gap in the market for such a product.
"This gives Corning an edge, even if it's a bit of an odd edge," said Bob O'Donnell from the Technalysis Research consultancy.
"There are clearly folks in the world who are very concerned about germs and carry antibacterial hand gel in their pockets.
"If vendors opt to pay extra for this glass I'm sure they will talk about its abilities. But it's likely to be only a small niche of people for whom this would be the deciding factor when choosing between products."
Companies including CaseCrown and S-View already sell anti-bacterial films that can be fitted to tablets and smartphones as an alternative.
Apple, Amazon, LG, HTC and Samsung are among the many smart device manufacturers to use Corning's products.
Gorilla Glass has become a publicly recognised brand - a rarity for the glass industry - and has generated more than $1bn (£610m) of annual sales for the company.
However, some investors have been concerned that its competitor GT Advanced Technologies might tempt clients away to its sapphire glass, which promises greater scratch resistance.