'Gorilla Glass' maker looks beyond smartphones

January 11, 2013 by Rob Lever
A display of mobile phone covers are seen at the 2013 International CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 9, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Corning, which played a key role in the smartphone revolution with its robust "Gorilla Glass," is looking beyond the small screen with an upgraded version which promises to be even tougher.

Corning, which played a key role in the smartphone revolution with its robust "Gorilla Glass," is looking beyond the small screen with an upgraded version which promises to be even tougher.

The company, which rose to prominence in the consumer tech world with the display panels for the first iPhones in 2007, unveiled its thinner, stronger, Gorilla Glass 3 at the International CES this week.

"We changed it at the to give it more resistance," said Corning's Jon Pesansky, between demonstrations of the new product at the giant Las Vegas tech fair.

While component makers generally garner little attention, the once-sleepy New York state firm which started as a cookware maker, has risen to prominence as a sought-after maker of smartphone screens.

Pesansky said Gorilla Glass has been used one over one billion products worldwide since its launch.

The company gained notoriety when Apple's late chief persuaded Corning to set up a new manufacturing facility to ensure enough capacity for the launch in 2007.

Corning now supplies most of the smartphone makers including Samsung, Nokia and , and is also featured on many tablets including the .

But the third generation of the glass, which is 20 percent thinner and 40 percent more scratch resistant according to Corning, is suited to larger displays including touchscreen computers and interactive TVs.

"Windows 8 opens up a lot more possibilities," Pesansky said, pointing to a Dell convertible laptop and a 55-inch TV using the glass

"We're proud of a product which has this survivability and more toughness in display."

For large screens, Gorilla Glass won't hinder the high pixel density of today's most innovative, high-performance displays," said David Loeber, who heads the division for large cover glass at Corning.

"Furthermore, Corning Gorilla Glass enables a remarkably thin design so our customers benefit from a lighter device, leading to transportation, mounting, and installation costs savings."

The company, which shed its CorningWare cooking operations years ago, is also developing a flexible glass product called Willow Glass for electronics firms. But that is a different animal.

"It's not for the same type of displays," Pesansky said, "It's more for underlying levels of glass or LED televisions."

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not rated yet Jan 11, 2013
hey, how about eyeglass lenses?
5 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2013
hey, how about eyeglass lenses?
Eyeglass lenses need other features, like a high refraction index and ease of machining to fit the chosen frames. Gorilla Glass offers neither.

In theory, of course, it should be possible to Gorilla-treat eye-glass glass, too, after more or less product development. But when you get a pair of prescription eyeglasses, the store orders a pair of lenses with your prescription parameters, and then the store saws and files them to fit the frames you chose. This sawing and filing can't be done on Gorilla Glass without breaking the lens. It has to be done before the Gorilla treatment.

The lenses would have to be test fitted to your frames, and then sent to Corning for the Gorilla treatment. That would add too much to the price, and it would take weeks.

And the improvements over regular glass with optic coating would be minimal. Especially when the frames usually break before the lenses.
5 / 5 (2) Jan 12, 2013
Thanks gwrede for such a clear and informative answer.
5 / 5 (1) Jan 12, 2013
Considering my eyes, I'd much rather have plastic (in every sense of the word) lenses.
Eyeglasses are easier to replace.
5 / 5 (1) Jan 12, 2013
YT video 1, 2.
5 / 5 (1) Jan 12, 2013
The lenses would have to be test fitted to your frames, and then sent to Corning for the Gorilla treatment.

Seeing how in ordinary eyewear, the front of the lens more or less conforms to the shape of the frame while the back of the lens is shaped to the correct power, you could manufacture a lens that is pre-fitted to a frame with the front of the lens already treated as gorilla glass.

The back of the lens can be ground up in the shop as usual. The only difference is that the frame would come with its own lens blank instead of having to cut one from a generic blank.
not rated yet Jan 12, 2013
How about for big windows on airliners and orbitals?
not rated yet Jan 12, 2013
alfie_null: I'm with you. My doctor offers "scratch resistant" or "shatter resistant". I take the shatter resistant every time. If the lens is scratched too badly it can be replaced. I've bounced too many things off them, accidentally, to trust ordinary lenses to protect my eyes.
not rated yet Jan 12, 2013
@Eikka - Good idea.
Normally treating just one side of the glass would not work on thin glass because compressive forces on just one side would warp the glass.
But lenses are smaller and thicker than displays, so the warping should be manageable.
1 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2013
A pharmaceutical researcher isolated the substance produced by the body at birth responsible for the pliability of the shape of the eye. The substance production stops at birth. The body absorbs the naturally produced limited substance within three months. Enough time for the muscles of the eye to give the eye a permanent shape before the substance for pliability is completely absorbed by the body.

The objective was to reintroduce the isolated substance to the subjects' bodies and to fit far sighted glasses on near sighted subjects and to fit near sighted subjects with far sighted glasses. The muscles of a temporary pliable eye reshape the eye to adapt to the glasses worn - correcting a less-than-optimal eye shape and restoring conditions where 20/20 vision can exist.

Perhaps the corrective lens industry was not receptive to the pharmaceutical solution - the research never when beyond correcting the near sightedness of chickens.
5 / 5 (2) Jan 13, 2013
OK, but when do we get transparent aluminum?
1 / 5 (1) Jan 13, 2013
When it becomes less expensive?

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