Gorilla glass may save televisions from Wii accidents

Cartoon illustration of a Nintendo Wii accident where the Wii nuchuk is striking a user in the eye.

While Gorilla glass won't protect you from this, it will save televisions from Wii accidents. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Andrew/Balance Board Blog)

Wii accidents are a relatively new phenomenon, but a glass company that has been in existence since the U.S. Civil War may have a modern solution for the expensive problem of errant Wii nunchuks and shattered TV screens. The Associated Press reports that mega-strong Gorilla glass, which was originally invented in 1962 and known as Chemcor, could become a multibillion-dollar boon for Corning, Inc. The 159-year-old company expects to use Gorilla glass in the production of high-end televisions and touch-screen tablets soon.

Gorilla Glass became a $170 million annual business after 2008

After decades of languishing in a Corning laboratory trying to find a commercial application, Gorilla glass began to appear in cell phones in 2008. That currently produces $170 million per year, and entry into the television and touch-screen device markets would multiply earnings for Corning into the billions. In particular, Gorilla glass could be used for frameless flat screen TVs that would look like artwork on a wall, rather than a television. Gorilla glass’ resistance to scratching, denting or other breakage would both preserve a high-end television’s elegance and cut down on broken glass from dreaded Wii accidents.

Three times stronger and half as thick

Gorilla glass compares quite favorably with ordinary glass, writes the Associated Press. It is three times stronger at half the thickness. In fact, the glass on flat screens can be thinner than a dime, which makes for much cheaper shipping thanks to the weight decrease. Corning is currently working with Asian manufacturers to introduce Gorilla glass to the television market by early 2011. Share prices of Corning have already increased in anticipation of increased business. Considering that high-end LCD glass generated the bulk of Corning’s sales in 2009 ($5.4 billion), there would likely be demand. As experts predict that adding Gorilla glass would only add $30 to $60 per unit, sales would likely skyrocket for such high-end tech items.

Why stop at TV screens?

Corning has a number of possible uses planned for Gorilla glass. Refrigerator doors, automobile sunroofs and even touch-screen advertising in businesses like hotels are all possibilities. Yet with the television market alone, Corning would likely make a killing with Gorilla glass.

Sources:

Associated Press

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