The Glow Phone | Eastman Innovation Lab

The Glow Phone

Incorporating Eastman Tritan™ copolyester to provide a high level of light transmittance


Art Center College of Design calls the ideation sessions DesignStorms. Perfect Storm is a much more apt description.

Fifteen of Art Center’s best and brightest students teamed with Eastman engineering and marketing specialists to brainstorm ideas on how Eastman Tritan™ copolyester could be used in consumer electronic devices.

The workshop produced several exciting concepts and the kind of fresh, bold thinking that has earned Art Center its reputation as one of the world’s leading design schools.

One of the concepts is a “Glow Phone” created by Josh Nakaya, Kory Victor, Marcus Koosmann and Grant Poznick.

“With the Glow Phone concept, one of the characteristics of Tritan™ that we really wanted to focus on, and found most interesting, is its clarity,” says Nakaya.

The team came up with the idea of treating Tritan™ with an optical brightener so that when ultra-violet LEDs strike it, the phone lights up a different color. The glow can be limited to the edges of the phone or cover the entire surface.

“So you could have a series of LEDs within this that are different color frequencies,” Nakaya explains. “This could be used to color code information. For example, the device could glow one color for incoming calls, another for text messages, and another for calendar reminders. Or specific colors could be assigned to particular callers. Now we’re using different ways of communicating information and not utilizing just the small screen on the phone itself.”

The outer layer of the Glow Phone can be opaque, even jet black without requiring paint.

Multiple layers of materials and thickness provide flexibility.

And the clarity of Tritan™ produces a high level of light transmittance.

Nakaya cites a quote from Arthur C. Clarke, the author-futurist, to explain the thinking behind the Glow Phone: “He once said, ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’ And that is really the point to where we’re getting in society and industry. We’re capable of doing things that really appear to be magic.”

The Glow Phone concept certainly has that magic quality to it.

And to make the Glow Phone’s magic come to life, the Eastman Innovation Lab teamed with RTT, a 3D visualization company. Together, we’re challenging the traditional mobile phone.