Road To VR: Gorilla Glass Maker Corning & Pixelligent Partner to Develop Optics for Consumer AR Headsets

Corning Incorporated, the makers of Corning Gorilla Glass, announced a new partnership with compound material supplier Pixelligent Technologies to develop optics for the coming age of consumer AR headsets.

The collaboration is said to rely on Pixelligent’s optically transparent compounds and Corning’s glass manufacturing technology to “help reduce product-development time and expand availability of AR devices,” a company statement reads.

“We are confident in our capabilities and will continue to support OEMs with the right materials, machinery, and design expertise to prepare for mass adoption of augmented- and mixed-reality devices,” says Corning’s Dr. Xavier Lafosse, Commercial Technology Director, Advanced Optics.

Pixelligent will be offering its PixClear polymers, which use zirconia and titania-based nanocrystals to increase an optic’s refractive index, a measurement of how much a ray of light bends on its pathway into a given medium.

Corning has already been heavily involved in mass producing ultra-flat, high-index glass wafers for “leading AR device makers,” (they haven’t said who) however it’s equally important to note that a bulk of Corning’s post-IPO equity has come from Apple, which awarded the company $450 million over the course of two investments in 2017 and 2019.

Apple is undoubtedly developing an AR headset of its own, so it’s a distinct possibility that Corning and Pixelligent’s tech may find its way into future Apple AR products of the future. It’s been rumored that a so-called ‘Apple Glass’ could launch sometime in 2021, but like all things Apple, we’ll just have to see it to believe it.

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