Corning CES 2013 booth

New York-based glass manufacturer Corning announced yesterday the manufacturing readiness of its new 3D glass-forming technology to shape its patented Gorilla Glass, which has been used in a number of mobile devices including iPhones and iPads.

The company says it’s targeting commercialization of finished 3D-shaped Gorilla Glass parts this year that will “expand the possibilities” for industrial designers. And of course, this has led to speculation that it’s preparing for future wearable devices…

From the press release:

“Product design continues to drive the consumer electronics industry. More than half of the top 10 smartphone manufacturers already market devices that incorporate cover glass with subtle curves, and the demand for even more-dramatic form factors is increasing. Corning’s 3D-forming technology meets this demand and expands the design possibilities for industrial designers.

The relationship with GTOC allows Corning to provide a “one-roof” solution. “We can now take Gorilla Glass all the way from flat sheet to a finished 3D-shaped product in Asia, expediting turnaround times and minimizing logistical complexity,” said James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Specialty Materials. “That’s a win for Corning and our customers.”

Apple has, in the past, used curved glass in some of its products like the iPod nano, and we have seen several reports calling for a new iPhone next year with a slightly curved display. Then of course there’s the ongoing rumor that Apple is building a smartwatch.

iPhone Wrist (Yrving Torrealba 002)concept image via Yrving Torrealba 

Dubbed the ‘iWatch’ by the media, Apple’s alleged on-the-wrist device is one of the most highly anticipated products of 2014. The company is said to have a team of over 100 designers working on the project, which is said to feature a design utilizing curved glass.

  • oralarts

    Apple only has around 17-20 designers total according to Leander Kahney’s excellent book on Jony Ives.

  • Tronic

    That watch is bs and impossible.

    • chumawumba

      Nothing is impossible for Apple

  • jack

    So they were producing 2D-shaped glasses?

    • Clement Yeo

      yes LOL!

    • Falk M.

      Hmm… wouldn’t mean going from 2D shaped glass to 3D shaped glass that you add bulk? I mean 2D is infinitely thin, 3D, however thin it is, will always add thickness.
      As Apple loves thinnification, I guess it’d be wise to stick to 2D glass…

      ;D ;D ;D

      • Hyr3m

        How ’bout a “flat” glass cylinder as main body ? How ’bout having the edges convexly curved ? 3D means “less” design constraints (or “more” possibilities), it doesn’t have to mean that the devices will be thicker…

      • Falk M.

        I even included three winky laughing smilies and the joke still flew over your head. Oi 😉

      • Hyr3m

        Lawl, I guess it did… haven’t been sleeping much these days… and with the general level on iDB I guess I wasn’t expecting any less…

        Assumptions will be the death of me 😀

      • Falk M.

        Shit happens. 😀

  • Clement Yeo

    define 3D

    • jack

      Three dimensions 🙂

      • Clement Yeo

        lol , so basically everything that has three dimensions?
        .. im confuse now

      • KewlDewd

        It’s just a flashy marketing term for “not flat glass”.

  • Andrew von Pikrt

    These speculations out of thumb are funny…

  • Bob

    that is one crap concept

    • onebyone_

      crap with iOS6 😉

  • on3simpleclick

    I’ve always wondered why their company is named Corning. very strange name.

    • It’s because they’re based out of Corning, NY. I’m from Rochester, NY which is right by there. For the record, there is a Corning Museum of Glass that is pretty awesome too.

  • Matthew

    Kind of off topic but does anyone know what version of gorilla glass is in the iPhone 5s? What about older model iPhones?

    • YzMENTALzY

      iphone 4s. Iphone 5/5s/5c all have gorilla glass as for previous versions of the iphone they had aluminosilicate glass which contains 20% aluminium oxide (alumina-Al2O3) often including calcium oxide, magnesium oxide and boric oxide in relatively small amounts, but with only very small amounts of soda or potash. It is able to withstand high temperatures and thermal shock and is typically used in combustion tubes, gauge glasses for high-pressure steam boilers, and in halogen-tungsten lamps capable of operating at temperature as high as 750°C.

      Hope this answers your question

      • Greg Whitaker

        Way to bust out some mad f**king knowledge! 🙂

      • YzMENTALzY

        Lol i work with tech and computers so yeah it was abit outta tha blue

      • Greg Whitaker

        Not really. It was the answer the guy asked for and a bonus. 🙂

      • YzMENTALzY

        Yeah just incase he didnt know what aluminosilicate glass meant gave him a brief description saving him googling it lol

    • Hyr3m

      iPhone 4s : Gorilla Glass
      iPhone 5/5s/5c : Gorilla Glass 2

      Samsung Galaxy S4 (released 4 months before the iPhone 5s) : Gorilla Glass 3

  • onebyone_

    I think, may be the strategy would be
    new device (iwatch) and new iOS 8 will be announced ( not launched )at the same time, this iOS may include new sync features between devices. So, may be until iOS 8 Beta come to developers, they will see in the code something related to the “iWatch”.

  • illK†Δ

    No. That concept iWatch is horrific.
    Along with the “iWatch” name. I know it’s apple’s thing to add an “i” in front of everything, but it’s old.

    • YzMENTALzY

      iWatch sounds messed up its a watch that watches you watch everything watching you so what do you watch?

    • Hyr3m

      iWatch and uListen.

  • The concept of having this glass around my wrist is disturbing… I’m not sure how I feel about this. I mean, at the rate smartphones shatter nowadays who knows. I can’t be the only one thinking this, haha. When I got my iPhone 5s, my iPhone 4s looked like I beat it with a sledgehammer… When in reality I only dropped it a couple inches from the ground. At least with phones you can get a case (I literally had my 4s for a day and had a case on the way from Amazon when it shattered).