Corning on Friday announced a new 3D Gorilla Glass solution, paving the way for use in smartwatches and other curved devices. The company said its new 3D-forming method is production ready, meaning Corning is ready to court OEMs who want to use the new technology. With 2014 likely to become the year of wearable devices, it’s no surprise to see Corning eagerly jump into the curved display market.
“We can now take Gorilla Glass all the way from flat sheet to a finished 3D-shaped product in Asia, expediting turnaround times and minimizing logistical complexity,” said Corning Special Materials’ senior vice president and general manager James R. Steiner. “That’s a win for Corning and our customers.”
Corning new’s initiative is being operated in partnership with Taiwan-based G-Tech Optoelectronics Corp, allowing the two to create a “one-roof” solution. That allows, as Steiner noted, for faster turnaround, and eventually a more seamless production cycle of whatever devices, smartwatches or not, use Corning’s technology. Gorilla Glass has been implemented in a lot of smartphones; Apple in particular has been a long-time manufacturing partner. Could this be used for a future iWatch?
As the market gravitates toward new frontiers, companies like Corning will also need to make its product stronger, but more adaptable to the current trends. While the year is young, it would certainly seem as though wearables will be one of the bigger areas of focus. Even before CES has kicked off, companies have already begun announcing intentions to jump into the smartwatch market. Corning, for its part, has said it hopes to commercialize its 3D-shaped Gorilla Glass sometime this year, though an exact timeframe wasn’t shared.