Corning thinks glass’s day has arrived. In 2011, its video “A Day Made of Glass” showed how glass could be used in every corner of the home, from the mirror displaying news while you brush your teeth to the countertop showing you the weather as you make breakfast. At CES 2016, the company’s booth was full of similar technology — all of which it says is ready and awaiting partners.
There was a fridge with an entire door that doubled as a touchscreen, not unlike Samsung’s new Family Hub. You could use it to show your calendar or family photos or order your groceries. Using RFID tags, it can keep track of what food you have in there. Every time you take out a soda, it will register that you’re down one. Not necessarily something you need to display, but it could add your favorite brand to the shopping list when you only have a couple left — or just automatically order it for you.
In addition to this “kitchen hub,” Corning also had an infotainment wall on display. It was basically several 55-inch panels put together to form an entire glass wall that takes TV watching, gaming, and photo display to a much larger scale. In the office, Corning says you could create a large table for collaborative projects. Instead of emailing a document, just shove it across with a push of your finger. Car consoles could also use glass for a more customized experience. See a sneaker you like in a store window? Touch the glass to get more information, see a projection of it in different colors, and then purchase it then and there.
Corning doesn’t have any of these products ready to go at this point. Instead, it wants to make the Gorilla Glass supporting them, and have partners take care of the software and other hardware.
“New generations of highly specialized substrate glass have enabled all these advancements,” reads the company’s related press release. “The glass has become so slim that large smart surfaces are now available in total packages less than a half-inch thick.”
Last year, Panasonic had a concept smart mirror that displayed news and let you try on makeup virtually. If Corning has its way, next year a wide range of similar products could be a reality.