Corning revealed a new use for its line of toughened touch surfaces on Tuesday, dubbed Vibrant Gorilla Glass, which will enable manufacturers to print high-resolution images on the material. "It provides a wide range of color possibilities that you just can't get from traditional screen printing processes," Scott Forester, director, Gorilla Glass Innovations, told me during a recent call.
One of the challenges with glass is that it is inert but how do you get stuff to durably stick to it? Corning didn't disclose much detail into the process and technology, save that "We spent a bit of time understanding inks and fluids, and how these adhere to glass," Forester told me. "There's a lot of intellectual property around the equipment and ink formulation. It's a very different printing technology than what you see today."
Now, obviously, Corning isn't planning to stamp images onto iPhone screens but the company does see a market in front plates -- ie the top cover of your laptop where the logo resides -- or the backsides of smartphones. "We've gotten a lot of interest from companies that want to add their multicolor logos to devices," Forester said. What's more, Corning is open to offering the technology to advertisers and marketers before potentially offering it to consumers as a personalization option when purchasing new devices from the manufacturer. Eventually, people may be able to swap out the manufacturer's logo on the back of their device with an image of their own choosing.