Displays as Tough as Glass

By James Wood

Glass has a reputation for being weak. When a boxer wants to talk about a foe who’s weak he might say: “He has a glass jaw.” Or there’s the old saying: “Those is glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” We think of glass as being the weak link in our houses or cars. Wood and steel will protect us where polished glass will fail. Granted, the reputation of glass has been earned over a long time, but what glass is doing now is anything but weak.

Glass is used to stop bullets in armored cars, to protect astronauts in space and to cover the screen of your smartphone. The brittle analogy for weakness has come a long way through the coaxing of engineers to become a top-tier solution for protecting assets. Glass is essentially melted sand, but with the careful addition of other elements and control of the manufacturing process the result can be incredibly tough, yet still smooth and clear.

At Planar we tackled the challenge of putting vibrant digital signage at eye level through LCD displays and mounts that are 60% thinner than anyone else. So sports arenas, airports and shopping malls can mount gorgeous screens right were people are looking. But that leaves a new problem, what happens when the screens get touched. General access to the public also means general access to sticky toddler fingers, rough suitcase bumps and countless other touches.

We put on another pot of coffee for the Planar engineering team and they rewarded us with Extended Ruggedness and Optics glass, or ERO for short. This marvel of melted sand is incredibly strong and resistant to damage, so it protects the LCD screens behind it, which is fantastic. But our engineers weren’t satisfied with just that much. They added enhancements to boost the contrast of the image on the screen by 300 percent, so not only is it tough, but it’s also easier to see. Finally they threw in a bonding technique so that the glass fits over the Clarity Matrix LCD screens without any gap for moisture or dust to get in and degrade the image. That little gem earned the engineers a dozen donuts.

The reputation of glass may have been earned over centuries, but with innovations like ERO protecting your Clarity Matrix display wall you’ll begin to think of glass differently.