Between televisions, smartphones, tablets and laptops, most consumer electronics share one distinguishing characteristic: their flat, rectangular displays. It looks like technology is changing that though with a newer trend called curved screens.
Unlike previous similar wavy displays that featured a contoured glass over a flat display, these new devices and electronics actually use an innovated curved display that offers a variety of benefits from being more ergonomic to improving the multimedia experience.
About Curved Screen Technology
Deemed the new flat screen, curved technology using displays based on OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) technology, which has made it simpler for manufacturers to enhance or improve two-dimensional screens. Curved screens, which are flat panels that are bent after the fact are also flexible, which means they can be bent with a certain amount of pressure.
Curved screens are made possible because of a newer flexible glass called Willow, which is manufactured by Corning. It is about as thin as a piece of paper and is chemically coated to enhance transparency and conduct electricity. The thinner the glass, the more curvature you can get. The OLED displays are placed on this type of glass. Televisions with these types of curved and flexible screens can bend on demand by using a remote control.
Samsung was one of the first to market both televisions and smartphones with the curved screen technology. In 2013, the Samsung Galaxy Round, which is a tablet/smartphone hybrid, was released with its concave screen. The telecommunications giant also introduced a 55-inch OLED TV, which not only had a stunning picture with its 4,500mm curvature radius, but an almost $10,000 price tag to go with it. LG also came out with a 55-inch OLED television, which has a 5,000mm curvature radius.
Besides the Galaxy Round, the LG G Flex from T-Mobile also uses the curved screen technology. Because the curved screen contours to your face, the design reduces the distance between your mouth and the microphone, thus enhancing voice quality. The OLED display also provides a bright, vivid panoramic experience and reduces the glare. In addition to these two devices, it is also rumored that the Apple iPhone 6 is designed to use the same concave screen technology.
Benefits of Curved Screen Technology
Curved screen technology will take some getting used to, especially as more manufacturers create products with it. However, there are several benefits to using it:
- More ergonomic: Phones with curved screens fit more comfortably in your hand.
- Improved multimedia experience: Similar to an iMax experience, the curved screen enhances multimedia viewing by negating the distortion of the screen’s edges and create an image that is perceived as flat.
- Increased battery life: The LG G Flex has a “tap to life” function that allows users to tap twice on the phone to wake it up instead of picking it up and turning it on. It also has a 3500mAh battery, which produced a longer life than typical smartphone batteries.
Wave of the Future or Just a Gimmick?
Curved screens may just seem like a marketing gimmick, especially when it comes to televisions, since mounting and viewing may require extra attention. However, researchers strongly believe that curved screen displays are the next innovative trend in electronics.
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Smartphones with curved screens offer reduced glossiness typically found in flat displays, and improve screen privacy. That, coupled with the subtle concave of the screen, has opened up the doors to improving on this technology for other products and for future generations.