We introduced a new glass within the past couple of months called Lotus, which is an extension of our display glass technology. It is becoming the glass of choice for high-tech display applications.
S+B: What are some other exciting things we’ll soon see from Corning?
MORSE: Take a big industry like automotive. Think of all the things that have been done to cars to reduce weight—moving from steel to aluminum to carbon fiber, making tires lighter, and doing everything you can to the engine. But you’re still hauling around the same thick window glass made by the same soda lime float process that was used in 1950. Lighter, stronger glass makes a great deal of sense and will take a great deal of weight out of the car. Consumers will see that in improved gas mileage, and we see it as an opportunity for our advanced glass technology.
Think also about architecture. If architects design buildings with electrochromic windows (sometimes called smart glass), which can change colors to regulate the amount of sunlight that enters a building, for example, they need a technical glass like ours. You can achieve a lot of energy and light control with that.
In consumer electronics, touch is becoming ubiquitous. If you’re 15 years old, you live with your touchpad. You watch TV on it, not on your parents’ television. One sees babies playing with iPads these days, and those babies will grow up expecting to touch things to get them to respond. Ubiquitous touch is going to be everywhere—refrigerators, computers, everything in school. Companies will need thin and strong glass for all these applications.
- William J. Holstein is a contributing editor at s+b and author of The Next American Economy: Blueprint for a Real Recovery (Walker & Company, 2011) and Why GM Matters: Inside the Race to Transform an American Icon (Walker & Company, 2009).