Rhino Shield makes Corning's Gorilla Glass up to five times stronger

By on February 14, 2013, 5:30 PM

Corning's Gorilla Glass does a fine job of keeping smartphones relatively safe against typical bumps and scrapes, but given how common it is to hear about cracked displays, there's obviously plenty of room for improvement. Hoping to provide such an advancement, two enterprising Cambridge University students have made a new product that supposedly boosts the impact resistance of Gorilla Glass by up to five times.

Called Rhino Shield, the new screen protector is installed on top of your smartphone's display and its special blend of patent-pending polymer gives your device greater protection from shock, scratches and fingerprints. Although there are many other screen protectors around, the developers say Rhino Shield is unique because it has impact dispersion and dampening layers that help diffuse blows against a device.

In the team's demo video (embedded below), Rhino Shield is shown saving the iPhone from direct strikes with a hammer and other tools, it spares the device from what would otherwise be a fateful drop on concrete, and it shrugs off the impact of a 255g metal ball bearing falling from 48cm, whereas the unprotected Gorilla Glass 2-equipped handset shatters after being struck by the same ball bearing from only 9cm.

Given that it has extra layers not found on similar products, Rhino Shield is a little thicker than your average screen protector at 0.028cm versus about 0.015cm to 0.020cm. That extra ~0.010cm is likely worthwhile and the developers (who call themselves "Evolutive Labs") say that Rhino Shield is only three times thicker than a sheet of paper and remains highly transparent, though we haven't seen any clarity-related specs.

As with many startups lately, Evolutive Labs has turned to KickStarter for funding. So far, 256 backers have pledged a total of £4,074 and the team needs another £45,926 in the next 27 days to meet its goal of £50,000. Evolutive Labs says it's ready for mass production and with funding, it should be able to ship Rhino Shield by April. There are various donation tiers with protectors for many major smartphones and tablets.




User Comments: 14

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Rippleman Rippleman said:

Instead of using kickstarter, why not take their product to Samsung, Apple, Nokia etc? I would rather license the tech for billions rather then hawk it at accessory stores for millions.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

Why did they keep a layer over the phone on the tests? I am not convinced until test it in real life scenarios.

1 person liked this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Why did they keep a layer over the phone on the tests? I am not convinced until test it in real life scenarios.

You really didn't read the article did you?

1 person liked this | Littleczr Littleczr said:

Why did they keep a layer over the phone on the tests? I am not convinced until test it in real life scenarios.

You really didn't read the article did you?

Screen protector my mistake lol

ikesmasher said:

The confusion is understandable as gorilla glass is mentioned in the title, leading readers to have an initial belief that it is somehow integrated into gorilla glass...when in reality this would be compatible with most glass (although it may have different strengths depending)

1 person liked this | Lurker101 said:

Will this mean that iphones will soon be able to withstand forces stronger than a light fart without breaking?

1 person liked this | m4a4 m4a4 said:

That's nice and all, but how does it handle a blow on the corner?

TS-56336 TS-56336 said:

The product might work great - time will tell - but the demonstration was a bit misleading (I'll assume it was unintentional).

Gorilla Glass (or any glass for that matter) is much stronger on it's surface vs on it's edge. For example, during the 'drop' test, the phones were all dropped flat on their screens. Most screens are broken when the phone lands on it's bezel.

Additionally, you can find plenty of YouTube torture videos that show Gorilla Glass sans and type of 'shield' that survive being beaten by a hammer perfectly fine.

Additionally, with the ball bearing drop, I suspect that the survivability of the glass has more to do with the lamination provided by the rhino shield. I would hazard a guess that a thick piece of tape would provide very similar 'protection'.

It's a well made video, but it is greatly lacking in any type of scientific merit. Rhino Shield may very well work great, but there needs to be a lot more data on comparison of no protection vs regular screen protector vs rhino shield. At least according to the demonstrations in the video, I'm not seeing anything that the rhino shield can do that a regular ol' screen protector can't do (for probably a lot cheaper).

p51d007 said:

That's nice and all, but how does it handle a blow on the corner?

EXACTLY! A direct impact with Gorilla glass usually won't break it, but, as you've seen from numerous posts online, most of the damaged screens you see, the impact point is at the corner of the device. The other thing, 3 sheets of 20# paper may not seem thick, but, what kind of distortion is that going to cause the screen?

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Nothing wrong with giving people peace of mind over their expensive investment and making a few bucks at the same time. That's capitalism folks.

misor misor said:

Why did they keep a layer over the phone on the tests? I am not convinced until test it in real life scenarios.

let's call the mythbusters.

so with the protective layer, the screen can withstand some force coming from a hammer.

I wonder if the phone case actually absorbs the force of impact from the test.

HaMsTeYr HaMsTeYr said:

Why did they keep a layer over the phone on the tests? I am not convinced until test it in real life scenarios.

Rhino Shield is a screen protector dude. Watch the videos, and it's really that much apparent.

In fact one says Gorilla Glass 2 / Gorilla Glass 2 + Rhino Shield.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Sounds very interesting!

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I'm still holding onto a healthy dose of skepticism until the BS, hype, and cutesy-pie power naming escalates to, "Titanium T-Rex Tooth", before I even consider thinking about it being "unbreakable".....:p

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