Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Willow Glass

Last summer I read Walter Issacson's biography of the late, Apple CEO, Steve Jobs. If you are a techie geek (like me) the book is filled with nuggets of interesting facts. One such story concerned the well known Corning Glass Company.

Back in the early 1960's Corning developed a "chemically strengthened glass" known as Gorilla Glass. After development Corning found one major problem with its new tough glass, there was no practical use for it. The company put the produced in the closet for almost forty years before lightening struck (BTW, I mean this figuratively).

The first prototype of the Apple iPhone had a screen made of a tough plastic. It looked good and it worked well, but it scratched easily. Somehow, someway Steve Jobs found out about Corning's "uselss" Gorilla Glass. He contacted Corning CEO Wendell Weeks and explained his problem. Weeks and Jobs agreed that Gorilla Glass would be the perfect material to use for the iPhone screen.

That was six years ago and the rest is history, as they say.

Now Corning is at it again...this time the company has developed a product called "Willow Glass". Willow Glass "is as thin and as flexible as a sheet of paper that can be printed on rolls just like a newspaper" (FoxNews).

Interesting, but why do we need flexible glass? Is Willow Glass headed for Corning's attic for forty years like Gorilla Glass?

Corning doesn't think so...check out this video.

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