For all that they do, smartphones have always had one weakness: gravity. Few things in day-to-day life can induce a feeling of panic more quickly than dropping (or dropping something on) your phone. While the display inside your phone is relatively well protected by a sheet of glass, that glass can be fragile itself, not to mention expensive to fix once shattered.
Companies like Corning have attempted to strengthen the glass we use on use on our phones in developing products like Gorilla Glass. Then there are protective accessories like cases and tempered glass screen protectors, but as much as all of that helps, there isn’t really a 100% effective way to protect the sheet of glass on the front of your phone from shattering – unless, of course, you never drop your phone in the first place, something that’s easier said than done.
That may not be the case for much longer. Ahkan Semiconductor has been working on a new product called Miraj Diamond Glass, using lab-grown diamonds to create sheets of glass that protect your phone’s display. Diamonds are not only known for their beauty but also for their durability – as the hardest natural mineral on our fair planet, they’re particularly resistant to damage, and that property makes them good candidates for smartphone displays.
Akhan CEO Adam Khan explains to CNET that his company is currently in the process of testing Miraj Diamond Glass with a selection of manufacturers. Those partners are putting Miraj through a number of different tests, including stress tests and tests which measure conductivity, which is necessary for a phone’s touchscreen to function.
These tests are going to take some time, and though Ahkan’s pool of manufacturing partners is small to begin with, Khan tells CNET that we should begin seeing phones using Miraj Diamond Glass in 2019. When those smartphones sporting diamond glass do eventually arrive, we can probably expect them to be more expensive than their regular glass counterparts, but that may be a small price to pay for the extra durability. Stay tuned.