Jun 05, 2012

What kind of uses can you think of for Willow Glass?

I am pretty blown away by Corning's new Willow Glass, which is thin and flexible display glass. So flexible that, according to the information in the press release, you can roll it into a 2" round tube/ 5cm radius before stressing it. For me, as a motorcyclist, the first thing that came to mind was that it would make a really cool in helmet display, if you can make it see through, and if not, it would still make a killer "glass" cockpit. I would love to be able to roll up my tablet and stick it in my pocket. I'm sure that the real uses are more likely to be for gently curved smartphones/pads, but I live in the real world everyday, wishes are nice a nice diversion now and then. What other kinds of uses could could there be for a flexible display material like Willow Glass?


I like the idea of an e-reader with flexible pages, especially one using e-ink.  I sometimes read on mobile devices, and while the kindle is ok, I still have not adjusted to the tactile differences compared with reading a traditional, old school, printed paper book.  I just don't find it as immersive, for whatever reason.  


I wonder if the flexibility also adds durability.  Gorilla Glass is pretty tough, but as many, many of us know, it can still break.  If on impact Willow Glass bends instead of breaking, like a willow in the wind, then that alone is enough for me to be an enthusiastic adopter.    

Seems like a very cool thing to me. I'm sure that device manufacturers will use it in all kinds of ways.

Here's an article about for those who aren't familiar with it.

New Willow Glass is rollable and paper-thin

"Corning's latest display glass technology, Willow Glass, launched Monday at a trade show in Boston. Willow Glass is glass spun extremely thin and flexible enough to roll into two-inch radius tubes, thanks to a manufacturing process similar to that used to make newsprint.

Corning, the company that makes the Gorilla Glass widely used in smartphone displays, uses roll-to-roll processes to make Willow Glass. The material is processed at temperatures of up to 500º C and rolled out over many cylinders (a rendering of the process is posted on YouTube). The result is a scratch-resistant, bendable sheet that measures 100 microns thick, about the same as a sheet of paper."
Answer this