Glass maker Corning is hoping to revolutionize the current market of tablets and smartphones with a brand new glass substrate that enables manufacturers to create devices that are much thinner and lighter than ever before.
The ultra-slim flexible glass, called Willow Glass, was unveiled at the Society for Information Display’s Display Week in Boston.
Willow Glass can be “wrapped” around devices, unlike regular glass which is limited to being used on flat or non-flexible surfaces. It’s thinner too, measuring around the same thickness as a piece of paper.
“Displays become more pervasive each day and manufacturers strive to make both portable devices and larger displays thinner. Corning Willow Glass provides the substrate performance to maintain device quality in a thin and light form factor,” said Dr. Dipak Chowdhury, division vice president and Willow Glass program director.
With Willow Glass expected to go into production in 2012, consumers can expect to see the glass used in smartphones, TVs, laptops, tablets and other high-tech products by 2013.
Samsung and Nokia have both been investigating the use of flexible displays in mobile devices.
During the 2011 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Samsung showed off a preview of its shatterproof 4.5" flexible display at the Samsung Mobile Display.
Nokia also unveiled a prototype of its own flexible display mobile technology, called the Kinetic during Nokia World in October 2011. Both companies have said they hope to release products with flexible displays into the market by as early as the end of 2012.
High tech consumer electronics companies including Samsung and Apple currently use Corning's damage-resistant Gorilla Glass in their smartphones.