Cover glass giant Corning recently announced Gorilla Glass SR+, a new type of hardened glass specifically designed for wearables.
Gorilla Glass SR+ has been in development since 2015 and is part of Project Phire, a new glass composite that Corning claims is nearly as scratch resistant as sapphire.
In lab tests, Corning claims Gorilla Glass SR+ heavily outperforms wearable glass competition. It is 70 percent more resistant to scratches and impacts and offers 25 percent better surface reflection.
On top of the added protection, Gorilla Glass SR+ also has far better optical clarity and touch sensitivity. These upgrades could improve battery life and improve customer satisfaction, according to Corning.
“In early 2015, [we] 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,” said director of innovation product at Corning, Scott Forester. “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 coming to more wearables?
Corning did not give a list of partners for the new Gorilla Glass SR+, though its safe to assume most Android Wear manufacturers are interested in the new glass composite.
It may have more trouble with Apple, which already ships sapphire glass on the Watch and Watch Edition. Even with the upgrades to Gorilla Glass SR+, it will be hard for the glass giant to market SR+ as more scratch resistant than sapphire glass.
Corning would have more success bidding for the Watch Sport, Apple’s cheaper smartwatch that uses strengthened Ion-X glass. Though we don’t know what changes Apple has made to the cheaper version in Series 2, announced this week at its September event.