Corning today revealed their latest innovation in screen technology, an ultra-thin, flexible material known as Willow Glass.
Willow Glass is about as thick as standard white copy paper and is capable of bending like plastic, but reportedly retains the toughness that Corning (the maker of the iPhone's Gorilla Glass) is known for.
The paper-thin substrate will enable manufacturers to produce thinner, lighter, more ergonomic devices, as well as displays that can be wrapped around devices or even, say, wrists.
In other words, screens no longer have to be flat.
(Don't) stop the presses
Corning claims that Willow Glass's high heat resistance will eventually be produced en masse using a high temperature roll-to-roll process similar to how newspapers are printed.
Because of temperature limitations, it's never before been possible to produce screens this way, and the process has the potential to speed up production and lower costs.
And the presses will never have to stop, meaning there will be no shortage of Willow Glass even when demand ramps up.
Touch me, touch me
Corning said in a press release that "Willow Glass is formulated to perform exceptionally well for electronic components such as touch sensors."
Indeed, Willow Glass is being launched first and foremost as "an advanced display substrate" for smartphones and similar devices, although Corning is also looking into applications in lighting and flexible solar cells.
The company is currently sending samples of Willow Glass to technology developers, so it will be interesting to see where the thin glass pops up first.
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