How Display Glass is
Shaping Our Future

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Display glass will help shape our new future

Display glass will help shape our new future

Decades ago, Corning innovators imagined a way to communicate through a glass screen with images that were brilliant, fast-moving, and lifelike. They envisioned connecting with the world through devices so thin, so lightweight, they could go anywhere with you.

That long view shaped a future of smartphones, tablets, and immersive displays.

When the COVID-19 pandemic catapulted us into a new, socially distant way of life, we used those vivid displays to pivot quickly. We’ve continued to learn, conduct business, be entertained, and interact with one another in creative and spectacular new ways.

And as our society begins to move into a post-pandemic way of life, the newest innovations in display glass will help fill future niches and open mental and physical worlds.

Here are a few examples of technologies Corning has already developed that will be particularly instrumental in applications for tomorrow:

Higher resolution displays

Corning’s advanced glass formulas are bringing unprecedented levels of clarity, brilliance, and energy effectiveness to our connections with the rest of the world. Besides being great for consumers, they help device manufacturers operate at maximum efficiency, too.

Corning Lotus NXT™ Glass, for instance, is helping manufacturers literally re-shape the way we view displays.

Because it’s able to handle the extreme heat required for processing high-resolution LCD and OLED panels, Lotus NXT helps bring brilliant handheld devices to life while enabling thin design, vivid color, and longer battery life.

In its five years since launch, Lotus NXT has helped enable curved-edge designs. The glass has been used as a component in more than 550 million flexible OLED smartphones produced since 2015. It’s also enabling wearable technology and brilliant displays for automotive interiors – where curved surfaces help create an elegant, streamlined aesthetic.

Then there’s Corning® Astra™ Glass, a remarkable display glass with the future firmly in mind. The composition of Astra Glass is precisely engineered for emerging display technologies, making it particularly well-suited for high-resolution applications including tablets, monitors, and 8K televisions.

Astra Glass helps make possible some of the brightest, most lifelike display imagery possible, with true-to-life refresh rates – creating pictures so realistic, viewers can feel immersed in the visual experience. (Also behind the scenes: Corning’s legendary optical fiber, one of the reasons lightning-fast 5G connections are possible.)

The display industry has been excited about Astra Glass from the moment it hit the market last year. Astra Glass won the industry’s 2019 Gold Panel Display Technology Award at Touch Taiwan, the only glass substrate to earn this prestigious recognition.

A future reshaping before our eyes

It may be too soon to know exactly how a post-quarantine world will rush to take the latest in high-performance displays from “possible” to “ubiquitous.” Certainly, global economics will play a key factor here.

What we do know is that consumers spending more time at home have been spending more money on their screens. As of June, notebook sales grew the most in a quarter that we’ve seen in several years. And in the U.S., after nationwide lock-down measures were implemented, TV unit sales rose more than 40-percent from the same time a year ago.

And it’s not just for entertainment.

Stay-at-home mandates have brought a sharp uptick in videoconferencing for work, distance learning, and social events. Work teams and wedding guests alike are connecting through tiled on-screen galleries, suddenly able to be anywhere.

Telemedicine, too, is getting its moment. Used by fewer than 20% of Americans before the COVID-19 crisis, video health checks rapidly became mainstream as a way to limit patient travel and help keep the virus from spreading.

The experiences aren’t all good. Fuzzy images and slow refresh rates can make those connections off-putting rather than unifying.

But when images make you feel like you’re actually there, they can provide a lifeline. You can be immersed in a museum exhibit, collaborating on a tough work problem, or having dinner with old friends – all through a glass screen – proving without a doubt that social distancing does not need to mean social isolation.

Corning has long been a lead player in making this happen. Based on its share of the display market, chances are good that the displays in living rooms, offices, and classrooms feature Corning products. With its iconic Corning® EAGLE XG® Glass, Corning helped make larger, thinner, higher-resolution LCD displays a reality everywhere. More than 25 billion square feet of EAGLE XG Glass has been sold to panel manufacturers since its debut in 2006.

The long view

These examples and countless others help illustrate how Corning remains connected to market trends – and has the innovation firepower to introduce the next round of display innovations with remarkable new materials science and process breakthroughs.

This pandemic and its fallout will end. And it will have changed all of us – from its steep hardships, yes, but also from the lessons it has brought us.

In this reshaped society, we may well find that we are able to connect with the world around us in ways we never before thought possible.

Once again, glass will be the material that enables those connections, drives emerging trends, and fuels new generations of industry and innovation.