It's an unfortunate irony that the device we now rely on so heavily is also so incredibly fragile. Your smartphone's big, beautiful touchscreen is an accident waiting to happen, but Corning continues its magnanimous efforts to improve the survival rate of your hardware, and its latest creation, Gorilla Glass 5, should help your phone survive even nastier tumbles. Gorilla Glass 4, revealed back in 2014, boasted an 80 per cent survival rate for devices dropped from a height of 1m. That was roughly the equivalent of having your smartphone or tablet slip out of your hands at waist level.
For Gorilla Glass 5, Corning has managed to improve the recipe it uses for its aluminosilicate glass — a closely guarded trade secret — so that 80 per cent of the time your device will now survive a fall from as high as 1.6m. That's comparable to the height your phone is at when you're holding your phone in front of your face, which is much more of the time.
So when will Gorilla Glass 5 start appearing in new handsets and tablets? Corning already has the new material in production, and is shipping it to device makers, so you can expect announcements about new products that will incorporate Gorilla Glass 5 in the coming months. Does it mean you can finally treat your smartphone like your beat up old joggers? Definitely not, but it does mean you can be slightly less paranoid about your toys.