How the Future of Glass Will Change TechnologyUntil recently, the majority of smartphones and other viewing devices have come with plastic screens prone to scratching very easily. This has meant that coins, keys, or other sharp objects in a pocket or purse could make your new device look used in a very short period of time. However, while the scratches are unsightly, they also cause a problem with the clarity of the screen, making that new smartphone hard to read.

In response to a myriad of complaints, Apple — in particular, Steve Jobs — addressed these issues and demanded that his people find a solution to the problem. To them this meant that glass would be the protection of choice, but not just any glass. This glass had to be not only more durable but also sensitive to touch in order to allow for the revolutionary touch screen technology. With that in mind, Corning introduced the first new touch screen panels, made from a specialized glass, known as Gorilla Glass. Gorilla Glass not only met all the requirements previously stated, but also made the images on our devices clearer, brighter, and more touch-sensitive. Improvements did not stop here, however, as Corning continues to look ahead. This year, the company introduced Gorilla Glass 2, a thinner, yet stronger type of panel screen intended for use on even thinner devices in the future.

For its part, Apple is now in the process of making new versions of curved glass so that it will be able to expand its offering of future technologies that host this new design of glass. Though we are unsure exactly what Apple has in store for us, rest assured it will be something stunning that will knock our socks off.

Yes, I know what critics have to say about Apple perishing without Steve Jobs at the helm, but one should remember that the people behind Mr. Jobs are alive and well. With that being said, I personally believe that Apple is just at the beginning of innovative designs and that Apple products will continue to use and expand on this new glass technology.

However, Apple isn’t the only one cashing in on this new technology. Google is, as well, with its wearable glasses that promise a new and innovative way to view the world and the information that surrounds us. Apparently, these wearable new glasses with their glass and mirrors will replace the traditional ways that we view the Internet as it will allow us to surf the Web using voice commands, take pictures with a nod of the head, and even send messages. Sound like something out of Star Trek? It isn’t. In fact, all of this and much more could be coming our way as early as the fall of 2012.

Then, of course, we mustn’t forget about Microsoft. For it, this glass will be used to create a transparent computer display. The technology that it is working on is demonstrated in a video that focuses on where Microsoft is concentrating its glass projects. Here, Microsoft demonstrates how glass can be used to project a 3D image that a user can control, via computer, from behind the image itself.

In a second video, it’s demonstrated how a user can actually get the feeling that an object is right in their hand. Both videos are worth watching since they present what could very soon become a computing reality.

The folks at MIT are also in the process of reinventing what we have come to know as glass. Until now, most of us have just accepted that, when glass is used, you have to deal with a hard, shiny surface that produces glare when too much light is reflected off of it. This means that these reflective glare issues have made it impossible for anyone to read their smartphone or tablet under bright lights or in direct sunlight. In addressing this problem, the researchers at MIT have announced a process using nano scale cones of glass by which the glass has no glare, is very clear, has no reflection, and for which there will be no need for windshield wipers. One could only hope that this new process would also repel those oily fingerprints that we have all come to despise on our touch screens. A video that will allow you to view exactly what this ‘Perfect Glass’ will change is available on the International Business Times website linked below. If it is as good as MIT says it is, this new glass may well revolutionize our world.

Comments welcome.

CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by Peter Schauer

Source: Gorilla Glass from Corning

Source: Computerworld

Source: International Business Times