Earlier this week, I came across some interesting news regarding the creation of flexible, paper-thin displays. Known as AMOLED technology, companies like Samsung, Sony, Nokia, and other communication giants were all working towards the development of digital devices that would be controlled through manipulation and not touch. In addition, they would thinner and lighter than any and all previous digital devices, and virtually immune to destruction.
Well it seems that touch screens are not to be outdone yet. In the midst of all the fanfare about the future of communications and information technology, a company by the name of Corning had its own vision of things to come. In their world, display screens can and will be built into panes of what they call “Gorilla Glass”. These panes could be the screen on your next smartphone, or the window in your bathroom, the panels in your car, on a wall in the street, or the basis of portable computing.
Just imagine, information kiosks on the street made out of large panels of illuminated glass, tablets that are less than a centimeter thick and completely transparent, and a handheld mirror that can also receive text messages, email and incoming calls. Much like flexible displays, this sounds like something out of a truly awesome science fiction novel, or a somewhat awesome Hollywood approximation thereof.
For some time, speculative writers have predicted that the future of computing will lie in “smart surfaces” and “smart materials” that are composed of computers and displays so tiny, that any flat surface can be made into a dynamic display device or interface. Once again, it seems that reality is catching up to fiction, and not a moment too soon either! I don’t know about you, but it’s nice to learn about technological innovation that doesn’t evoke feelings of dystopia or apocalypticism.
Check out the video below to see what Corning has in mind and how they will likely effect future generations and how they interact with their everyday environment: