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Apple files patent for crack resistant glass

Posted: , by Charlene S.

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Apple files patent for crack resistant glass
As touchscreens take over the portables market, the biggest caveat is accidental drops. Portable devices such as smartphones and tablets usually have at least one side, or in the case of the iPhone 4 two sides, almost completely comprised of a sheet of glass. While technology has significantly advanced the ways we are able to strengthen glass while maintaining thinness, at the end of the day, the glass in your commonly used gadgets can only absorb so much impact before fracturing.

Apple has filed a patent that shows they are continuing to look for new solutions to this problem.  Apple believes that other glass material in addition to alumino silicate glass, commonly known as Gorilla Glass, can be used in combination with a surface chemical treatment to create stronger glass.

Apple is also proposing to use a drop sensor that is able to trigger a protection defense when a drop is detected. Some of the defenses that Apple suggested in the patent are an actuator that retracts the glass partially into the housing when a drop is detected as well as a shock mount.

The shock mount solution aims to isolate the glass from the rest of the device. The mount is able to compress to dampen the effects of the impact. Apple also suggests that in this application the cover glass and the rest of the device can be programmed to emit different resonant frequencies, or vibrations, to provide additional dampening.

Tunable Shock Mount

Tunable Shock Mount

As for the shock mount itself; Apple suggests a few materials including polymer, foam, gel, or a shape memory material to absorb the impact. Conversely, Apple also describes a tunable shock mount with a micro inflatable bladder filled with fluid that expands on impact much like an airbag.

Micro Inflatable Bladder

Micro Inflatable Bladder

While it is unclear if we’ll see any of these inventions integrated into real world applications anytime soon, it is interesting to take a look at some ideas that present new ways to protect our gadgets from their greatest physical threat, their own users.

source: Patently Apple via Mobile Syrup

  • Options

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 18:06 13

1. Phullofphil (Posts: 805; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)

no comment.

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 18:30 8

9. andro. (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)

enough said!

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 18:06 9

2. evo-ninja (Posts: 31; Member since: 23 May 2011)

I no five people in the office wit iphones, put you can't tell because they have that ugly front an back cover

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 20:41 3

45. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)

I have the same problem as you. I make so many mistakes when typing on my android device when making posts.

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 18:12 14

3. corporateJP (Posts: 2458; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)

Corning Gorilla Glass > any Apple false patent

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 18:26 7

6. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

How would you know this?

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 19:37 11

32. 530gemini (Posts: 2198; Member since: 09 Sep 2010)

@taco. He's an android fanboy. He knows everything ;)

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 10:49 3

104. corporateJP (Posts: 2458; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)

Yep. I know everything.

I know I wouldn't mount your old lady.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 05:02 3

98. s.mrabet (Posts: 147; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

You are pathetic taco, posting the same lame link 10 times... Thats the true definition of trolling.

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 19:44

37. darkkjedii (Posts: 25058; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Dummy they\'d be working Corning,as they do now

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 10:44 4

102. corporateJP (Posts: 2458; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)

You make no sense, dumbass.

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 20:31 2

44. ardent1 (Posts: 2000; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


Do you know the difference between a patent application and a patent?

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 10:45 4

103. corporateJP (Posts: 2458; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


And I'm trusting this one should be denied seeing as at least six other companies are pending with similar designs.

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 20:54 3

47. stealthd (unregistered)

Interesting tidbit: the original iPhone was the first phone to use Gorilla Glass and Corning wouldn't be selling glass for phone screens at all if Steve Jobs hadn't talked them into it.

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 22:01 5

58. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Interesting. I didn't know the last part of that tidbit. And I've read quite a but about Gorilla Glass. Source please?

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 22:04 1

61. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Today, Apple buys practically all the Gorilla Glass that Corning can make. Apple is the world’s No. 1 consumer of it.”


posted on 17 Nov 2011, 22:40 6

68. gaby1451 (Posts: 114; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)

I'd take that quote with a grain of salt because neither Apple nor Corning have ever confirmed the use of "Gorilla Glass" on its iPhones/iPads etc. The author states that the "rough outlines [of the history and use of Gorilla Glass story] are true" (Pogue, par.8)

Accoroding to a PR rep from Corning, the use of patented "Corning Gorilla Glass" wasn't implemented until 2008 after further refinement of the company's original "cover glass" (par. 9). Therefore, Apple's first generation iPhone couldn't have specifically used that type of glass.

In could very well be in use today though. Here's hoping for these new patents to come in use next year!

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 23:26 8

77. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

my understanding is that there is gorrilla glass used in the i4.. least thats the rumors.. but the drop tests fail so often I have trouble believing it. the SGS2 uses gorilla glass in a much bigger screen (and thus easier to break when dropped from shatter vibrations), yet routinely lives through a lot more abuse than the iphone does.

All that aside,
that is the most complex yet cool anti-drop mechanism yet. Lets see if it actually makes it to market some day. I thought the tidbit about how they want to put "drop sensors" in the phone so it can start resonating the glass at an alternate frequency to reduce drop vibration was neat. Sounds cool, but how long until that comes to market? 2017?

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 23:02

71. Jobes (Posts: 364; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


posted on 17 Nov 2011, 23:32 6

78. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

taco, you are quoting an outside source in a newspaper blog, that even the writer says is probably not correct. It has no validity.

In the official blurb from corning in the same article it makes NO mention of apple what so ever.. If apple was really their biggest customer, they would have name them first.. or at least named them, as the instant brand recognition of the iphone would have raised their "coolness" factor to a lot of people. Why would they waist a PR moment for that but talk about other companies? I doubt they would, is the point.

"Today, he said, this glass covers the screens of 280 gadgets from 20 brands — Samsung, LG, Dell, Motorola, Acer and so on. Needless to say, it’s been a hit"

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 00:51 4

89. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

I know that Gorilla Glass is in the iPhone. I was asking for the source that says that Steve Jobs is responsible for Corning Inc. figuring out that they could sell the glass for phone displays.


posted on 18 Nov 2011, 01:21 3

91. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 813; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)

I guess nobody from the other camp (iOS) knows any reliable link/source to answer your question. . .

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 03:25

95. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

It's in his biography. Read it. Also I have posted a source here.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 03:56 1

96. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Surely I'll read the whole thing when I have 17 bucks to waste. Or time to go to the library. Not to mention the time necessary to read the book, considering my job and the holidays. It would help me if you could tell me chapter and verse, so to speak. And the source you keep quoting does not tell is that Jobs is responsible for Corning figuring out that Gorilla Glass could be sold as phone displays.

posted on 21 Nov 2011, 18:23

114. stealthd (unregistered)

This probably won't get read, but yeah it's in the biography. They don't use "Gorilla Glass" specifically, but the glass in the original iPhone is what became Gorilla Glass. Corning didn't have a market for it, and Gorilla Glass didn't come to be until after Jobs asked for ridiculous quantities of the glass (which they weren't even producing at the time, but they met the quantities regardless).

Gorilla Glass can break too, I'd be interested to see what gives anyone the idea that the screens on known Gorilla Glass phones are any tougher than the iPhone's screen. The back of the iPhone 4/4S isn't the same glass as the screen, and I've seen just as many cracked Android phones with Gorilla Glass as iPhones.

posted on 29 Jan 2012, 12:28

115. Sandbag (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Jan 2012)

Whether or not it's true, in chapter 36 in the book Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson it says that Corning had the product but had found no use for it so stopped making it. Jobs got a tutorial from Cornings CEO Wendell Weeks after which Jobs told him he wanted as much Gorilla Glass as Corning could make within 6 months. Weeks replied that none of Cornings plants made it at the moment and didn't have the capacity to make as much Gorilla glass as Jobs wanted. Jobs told Weeks, don't be afraid you can do it. They did it in under 6 months even though it had never been made before to this extent.

posted on 18 Nov 2011, 10:50 1

105. corporateJP (Posts: 2458; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)

You're comedy.

They might buy it, but they sure as hell aren't utilizing it.

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 18:16 4

4. blackrose (Posts: 48; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)

Well said corporateJP

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 18:24 2

5. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

interesting patents. But given how there are really darn good cases on the devices like this, why not just integrate this into the phone itself instead of making it a separate accessory, basically a mil-spec phone but better.

posted on 17 Nov 2011, 18:27 10

7. taco50 (banned) (Posts: 5506; Member since: 08 Oct 2009)

Awesome I love Apple's glass design, but there's a definite downside in durability. Who says Apple doesn't innovate.

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