Will Your Next Mobile Device Disinfect Itself?

Which is safer: The flusher on the public toilet you just used or the mobile device you currently hold in your hand? Shockingly enough, the toilet lever is cleaner, and it’s not even a close comparison. Your mobile device likely has 1,800% as much harmful bacteria on it, according to a recent study. Not every study has shown the same level of bacteria, but every study has revealed the mobile device to be the dirtier object of the two. Fortunately, Corning plans to have antimicrobial glass ready for mobile devices within a couple of years.

According to the company, the glass is intended to kill both harmful viruses and bacteria that come in contact with your mobile device’s screen. The screen was already in the works before studies showed a commercial need, since it was being developed for use in the medical industry. Some of the research is now being repurposed to aid in commercial development.

How does it work? Corning isn’t saying, and no one else knows yet. Initial tests show that the glass does what it is supposed to do, though. E. coli was the bug of choice for the test. While it has no problem living on a regular piece of glass, the new self-cleaning glass killed the bug within two hours.

It’s still a closely guarded secret which company will get access to antimicrobial glass first. According to Corning, we’ll know within the next two years when the first device is released using this new technology. In the meantime, you may want to think twice about what you do with your hands after you touch your mobile device screen. Make sure to sanitize your devices properly and regularly.