Glass Innovations Could Transform Advertising | The Glass Age | Corning

Glass Innovations Could Transform Advertising

Glass Innovations Could Transform Advertising

High-tech glass creates new opportunities for user engagement

Television, online media, social media, digital media, online shopping - it goes without saying that we, as consumers, digest a variety of information in myriad ways on a daily basis. It can be difficult to focus on one topic and even more difficult for advertisers to break through the noise and garner our attention.

But high-tech glass offers a solution.

“Advanced glass is creating more sophisticated displays, enabling seamless delivery of real-time information, and bringing everyday surfaces to life with new functionality,” explains Dr. Jeff Evenson, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Corning Incorporated. “Ultimately, it’s transforming the way that people access information and interact with their environments.”

Evenson recently spoke with attendees at the 2017 Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA)/Geopath National Convention + Expo to explore how glass technologies might help advertisers cut through the noise.

“Glass creates new opportunities to  enhance the user experience and engage customers in more meaningful ways,” he said.

Unique form factors provide new ways to connect with audiences

Evenson shared examples of innovations that make glass a potential contender for many advertising applications.

For example, innovations in glass technology are enabling thinner, brighter displays with sharper images and new form factors. Compositions like Corning Iris™ Glass allow manufacturers to bring high-resolution, edge-lit displays to life that are less than 5 millimeters thick. That would mean taking up less real estate in outdoor advertising environments while making even more of a visual splash.

Large-format displays, as showcased at Corning’s 2016 and 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) booths, open the door to new possibilities in user engagement. Dynamic surfaces dissolve the boundary between the real and virtual by integrating digital content and social networking into displays in public areas and the home. Applications for large-format displays could be endless – imagine interacting with a digital kiosk in a clothing store to help you find the perfect outfit, bridging the gap between digital and brick-and-mortar stores.

And that just demonstrates glass you can see! Optical networks made of hair-thin glass fibers are working behind the scenes to power smart surfaces, providing fast, reliable broadband connections. One particularly exciting application for advertisers is the opportunity to use  location-based services to pinpoint the precise location of a consumer and provide customized content. 

Glass science leverages amazing properties to transform industries

How can one of the world’s most ancient materials enable such cutting-edge technologies?  The answer lies in the remarkable technical properties of glass.   Evenson shared some examples that surprised the audience – and may surprise you, too!


Contrary to popular wisdom, glass is incredibly strong. In fact, the theoretical strength of glass exceeds 10 Gigapascals.  What does that mean in layperson’s terms?  If you placed a scale underneath an elephant’s foot, you’d have to stack 10,000 elephants to get the scale to read 1 gigapascal! That super strength is attractive for advertisers,  particularly for large out-of-home applications, such as digital billboards or digital signage, which need to hold up in high-traffic areas and resist vandalism.


Glass features exceptional thermal and dimensional stability which helps enable a range of technologies from semiconductors to high-resolution displays.  In fact, some high-tech glasses can handle temperatures of 1000° C!  That creates the opportunity for outdoor displays that can  withstand extreme temperature changes and the most hostile weather conditions. For displays featuring an added layer of interactivity, glass stability can handle complex electronic circuitry to enable the interactive experience and multi-touch response consumers desire.


Glass also features unprecedented transparency. The glass used for optical fiber is 30 times more transparent than the purest water, which is the key to its tremendous transmission speed and capacity.  Today’s optical fiber can transmit the entire iTunes music library from Miami to London in about 25 seconds! This is great news for advertisers who want to provide information on demand. This allows advertisers to provide information on demand and unlocks opportunities for real-time marketing.

So, whether on a mobile device, tablet, TV, or large digital display, we’re consuming information at a rapid, almost continuous, pace. But glass technology is making it easier to connect with audiences through personalized, engaging experiences.

“We’re early in our dialogues with our dialogues with the advertising industry, but we are really excited about the possibilities,” said Evenson.