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Corning to Debut Cutting-Edge Gorilla Glass at CES

Corning to Debut Cutting-Edge Gorilla Glass at CES

What's nice glass manufacturer like Corning doing at a place like CES? Debuting the latest advances in its Gorilla Glass product line, that's what. Corning is a classic case of an old-line company carving a niche for itself in a new market, noted tech analyst Charles King. "People like to talk about the IT industry like it's a standalone entity, but Gorilla Glass shows that you don't have to be an IT vendor to win in IT."

By Erika Morphy
01/07/12 7:00 AM PT

Corning will be at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week, but unlike most of the exhibitors there, it won't be debuting a sexy new gadget.

Corning will be showing off Gorilla Glass 2 alongside the newest smartphones, tablets and other miracles in computing.

Corning is not revealing much about the updated product other than to say it will address emerging trends in technology such as increased functionality in smaller form factors, touch technology, connected devices, and sleek, durable large-format design aesthetics.

Like its predecessor Gorilla Glass 2 will be damage-resistant.

New Uses

The Corning booth at the show will have on display an 82-inch advanced multitouch LCD prototype, with touch-sensitive Gorilla Glass. It will also be featuring touch-enabled automobile interior and home appliance center simulators with enhanced user interfaces.

The centerpiece, though, will be a Gorilla Glass-covered video wall, flanked by Gorilla Glass fabricated sound speakers, projecting the latest in -- what else--Corning specialty glass technology news.

Still, the company is well aware that most of the interest in the glass will be coming from handheld and laptop device makers.

"Gorilla Glass 2 is not restricted to those applications, but that is what is attracting interest, at least for now," spokesperson Beth Dann told TechNewsWorld. She declined to describe the differences between the two versions.

However, is easy to guess -- at least, roughly -- where the improvements will be, Charles King, principal with Pund-IT, told TechNewsWorld.

"I think we can expect to see improvement with additional strength and/or additional flexibility, for starters," he said. "Those are the two features that have made Gorilla Glass so popular and why it has done so well on a touch-sensitive screen."

Visitors won't see Gorilla Glass 2 in use in devices on the show floor, Dann added. However, she expects several companies will announce their intentions to use it in their devices throughout the week.

Nothing New for Apple

One device it won't be debuting any time soon is the next line of Apple products, said Rob Walch, host of Today in iOS.

"Apple is notorious for using components that are mass produced in its devices," he told TechNewsWorld. "It never uses the latest technology."

It didn't introduce the first iPhone with 3G technology, and the current version doesn't have 4G, he noted.

Apple has never officially acknowledged that it uses Gorilla Glass on its devices, Walch added, although it most likely does use some variant of it for the front and back screens.

Certainly, though, the glass is ubiquitous in the tech community. It is featured on more than 30 major brands and designed into more than 575 product models. Some 500 million units worldwide sport it.

Tech Advancement From a Non-Tech Company

Indeed, Corning is a classic case of an old-line company carving a niche for itself in a new market, King said. "It took a product it clearly knows something about and through innovation turned it into a component that is incredibly useful and valuable to a high-growth industry like tech," he said.

"People like to talk about the IT industry like it's a standalone entity," King remarked, "but Gorilla Glass shows that you don't have to be an IT vendor to win in IT."


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