Goodbye fingerprints and smudges. For phones, matte is the new black

From CNET: Fingerprint-smudged smartphones may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to new technology from glass maker Corning.

Handset vendors like Apple and Samsung have been incorporating more and more glass in their phone designs over the past couple of years. While devices originally had glass just over the front touchscreen, designs now contain glass that curves around the edges of the phone and sometimes covers the entire back of the device.

This year, about 28 percent of all phones sold -- and nearly 100 percent of pricey, high-end phones -- will have glass on the back of the device, said John Bayne, general manager of Corning's Gorilla Glass business.

"We're seeing glass on the back because glass supports wireless charging and higher data rates like 5G, and metal is on the wrong side of the technology curve," Bayne said in an interview Wednesday after a Corning press event in Sunnyvale, California.

But incorporating glass on the back of devices has meant a lot more fingerprints and scratches.

Corning says it has a workaround for all of those smudges. It's developed technology to etch designs on its glass using a special inkjet printer, giving the glass a matte finish instead of a shiny one. While the process doesn't actually remove fingerprints, it does make them significantly less noticeable. And it also makes the phone less slippery and more grippy, Bayne said.

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