By Samantha Murphy
Gorilla Glass manufacturer Corning has unveiled a follow-up YouTube video to its wildly successful “A Day Made of Glass,” providing another look into what the future could be like with the growth of glass touchscreen interfaces, from innovative chalkboards and activity tables in classrooms to uses for it in hospitals.
Corning released two versions of “A Day Made of Glass 2″ — one with a narrator and another, abbreviated version without commentary — the video follows the life of young Amy and her family as they go through their day using various products made of glass. Amy does classwork on a glass tablet, controls the temperature of the car from the backseat and even attends a field trip at the Redwood Forrest with an interactive signage that brings learning to life. Her teacher also works with students on interactive touchscreen activity tables. Corning expects these activity tables to be rolled out in the near future.
Last year’s video, which followed the same family, brought in over 17 million hits on YouTube and left many in awe of Corning’s interpretation of what’s possible with photovoltaic glass, LCD TV glass, architectural display and surface glass, among others.
However, many left comments on YouTube asking which technology is actually possible with today’s resources and pricing. This time around, though, new technologies and applications are highlighted, such as glass tablets, multitouch-enabled desks, solar panels, augmented reality, electronic medical records and anti-microbial medical equipment.
Corning may be making headlines these days for its Gorilla Glass product — a super-strong, lightweight glass which can withstand drops and mistreatment — but it’s hardly a new company and no stranger to innovation. In fact, the 160-year-old business even worked with Thomas Edison to create inexpensive glass for his lightbulbs.
However, Corning noted at the press screening that there are several challenges the company is facing this year, largely due to lower LCD glass prices, higher corporate tax rates and declining equity earnings, which have combined to lower Corning’s profitability.
Although LCD glass sales are likely to be flat through 2014, the company said it will remain profitable and continue to generate large amounts of cash. Last week, Corning announced that it raked in record 2011 sales of $7.9 billion and plans to grow sales to $10 billion by 2014.
The company also recently announced that it is joining forces with Samsung Mobile to manufacture Lotus Glass for Galaxy-branded smartphones and Super OLED TVs. Corning’s ultra-slim, eco-friendly Lotus Glass is known for strong performance and withstanding higher-processing temperatures.
Although Corning’s first “A Day Made of Glass” video was unveiled a week ago this year, Corning’s vice chairman and CFO James Flaws told Mashable that he couldn’t comment on whether or not the clips will become an annual tradition.
“You can expect more from us though,” Flaws said.
Samantha Murphy is a Tech Reporter for Mashable, where she covers all things tech. She joined the Mashable team in 2011 and is based in New York.