The backsides of smartphones are usually quite naked and boring, but Corning has a solution: print photorealistic images on its widespread, scratch-resistant glass.
Want a smartphone cover that looks like snakeskin? Or how about wood or marble? The company's proprietary inkjet technology allows manufacturers to create integrated back covers for their smartphones that contain everything they desire for an artistic design.
Corning may be best known for creating the protective glass on the front panel of your smartphone. But the Company also sees a way to innovate on the phone
On Wednesday, Corning showed in his office in Sunnyvale, California, how some of these covers might look like. Interestingly, the inkjet technology can also be used to create a texture on the glass, so that a wood-like cover actually feels like wood. In addition, the covers do not interfere with the wireless charging or cellular networks of a smartphone.
Corning debuted the technology in 2016 and is already used in some laptops. Lenovo, for example, was available in special edition Star Wars Edition notebooks. But now the company has its sights on getting smart phone vendors on board.
"We sampled [the inkjet coverings] with smartphone makers and they think about it," said Corning VP John Bayne in an interview with journalists.
When can we see the individual backs on real phones? According to Bayne, providers are still investigating the business model with tailor-made covers. One problem is that limited-edition products with special designs do not necessarily appeal to everyone and create unsold stock for sellers.
Sellers "did not quite understand supply chain economics," added Bayne. "Surely we have the technology to support it, but I can not set a timeframe for it."
However, he does foresee a future in which consumers can personalize their phones when they buy a new device. He found that people already want to adapt the digital background and screen to their phones. "Why do not you want to personalize the back of your phone?" he asked.