Flexible glass could bring back the flip phone

(Figure. Researchers at Corning make 40-50 new experimental glass formulations every day. Courtesy Corning)

Imagine a flip phone that fits in your pocket but opens up to reveal a tablet-sized screen. Glassmakers are already manufacturing bendable glass that’s thinner than a human hair, and they say foldable glass is just around the corner.

German glassmaker Schott is now mass-manufacturing glass that’s ultrathin, strong, and smooth. Electronics can be made on it, and it flexes like plastic. The first consumer product to use Schott’s new glass is the fingerprint sensor on a smartphone made by LeTV, a large video-streaming company in China. Company representatives hope that this and other niche applications will give the new material a foothold while industrial designers play around with it. 

Read the full story at MIT Technology Review.





(Figure. Researchers at Corning make 40-50 new experimental glass formulations every day. Courtesy Corning)

Imagine a flip phone that fits in your pocket but opens up to reveal a tablet-sized screen. Glassmakers are already manufacturing bendable glass that’s thinner than a human hair, and they say foldable glass is just around the corner.

German glassmaker Schott is now mass-manufacturing glass that’s ultrathin, strong, and smooth. Electronics can be made on it, and it flexes like plastic. The first consumer product to use Schott’s new glass is the fingerprint sensor on a smartphone made by LeTV, a large video-streaming company in China. Company representatives hope that this and other niche applications will give the new material a foothold while industrial designers play around with it.

Read the full story at MIT Technology Review.

The Laser Focus World take:

Corning's Gorilla glass, famous on iPhones, is not the only glass for mobile devices. Although Apple decided not to use sapphire glass on iPhones in 2014, resulting in the bankruptcy of GT Advanced Technologies, other glass makers continue the quest for the perfect glass for the mobile market--which means glass that is thin, strong, and flexible. This article from MIT Technology surveys some of the work underway by Corning and Schott.
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