Corning – the makers of Gorilla Glass– have been working on their flexible touchscreen glass for some time and they've just unveiled a new innovation sure to light up the eyes of any smartphone futurist. Called "Willow Glass," the new material is just 100-microns thick – thinner than most hair – and ultra-flexible. The innovation could lead to lighter and more bendable smartphones in the future.
Typical smartphone glass is sandwiched together – usually three sheets – measuring 0.7 or 0.5 millimeters in thickness. At 0.1 millimeters thin, Corning's Willow glass is 7x thinner. It can also be printed on rolls just like newspapers, which could save manufacturers in transportation costs. Corning's Willow could even be used to create futuristic phones that you can wrap around your wrist or fold into a portable pop-up screen.
While it's probably not likely that Apple or Samsung are going to give up their LCD plants, the glass could be used in place of a few of the different layers on the screen. The glass is not as resistant to abuse as Gorilaa Glass,but it's still got some of that Corning toughness, according to press materials.
Willow will most likely start showing up in smartphones first, but Corning also has plans to use the material in solar cells and lighting.
I do believe that as soon as we've got flexible battery packs, it won't be long before we're seeing phones like this one: