A shatter-resistant screen is coming soon to a smartphone near you

This smartphone glass is nearly shatter-proof
This smartphone glass is nearly shatter-proof

Corning just launched Gorilla Glass 5, its latest evolution in break-resistant glass for smartphones.

This should be welcome news to anyone who has ever dropped his or her phone and smashed its screen. Despite all the recent advancements in smartphone technology, the screens have always been the weakest link -- and expensive to replace. This is why so many smartphone users are peering into spider web patterns of splintered glass.

Corning scientists have put their different types of glass through all sorts of "torture tests," according to a company video of the product launch in Palo Alto.

Josh Jacobs, technology manager of product performance and reliability for Corning (GLW), said the scientists batter glass with baseballs launched at 65 miles per hour and Wii remotes fired from an air cannon. He said the lab's "torture chamber" also features a "hail cannon" and diamond-tipped scratcher.

Related: The bendable smartphone comes with a catch

But Gorilla Glass 5 got more of a real-world test treatment specific to smartphones, he said. Drop tests were performed from drop towers set at waist and shoulder height, with the phone landing face-down on rough surfaces. According to Corning, Gorilla Glass 5 survived those drops 80% of the time.

Jacobs said the scientists also used a scratch test barrel, where the glass is placed in a bucket with keys, coins and cosmetics - "what you would find in a pocket or in a woman's purse" - to see if the glass will scratch.

Gorilla Glass 5 is expected to be on various smartphone brands later this year, said the company.

Last year, Motorola introduced the Droid Turbo 2, the first smartphone with a shatter-proof screen. Since then, a handful of other smartphone brands, including Samsung, have advertised unbreakable screens on their phones.

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