Display expert says curved displays offer practical advantages over flat screens

By on October 29, 2013, 11:30 AM

Curved displays like the one found on Samsung’s Galaxy Round certainly look unique compared to the flat screens we’ve used for years. Most people, however, would likely dismiss the Galaxy Round and others like the LG G Flex as marketing gimmicks but according to Raymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies, they actually offer a practical advantage over their flat counterparts.

In a report published earlier today, Soneira said curved screens are a major and very important display technology innovation. Based on his own in-house testing of a Galaxy Round, he found the edges of the display are only 2.66mm (0.10 inch) taller than the center. This gives the phone a subtle curve but it helps in a number of other areas.

The curvature of the screen makes it more difficult for someone sitting beside you to see what’s being displayed on the screen. Improved privacy is always a welcomed addition, especially if you use public transit to get to and from work or around town.

Additionally, the curved display helps to reduce reflections as the design directs reflected ambient light away from the viewer’s line of sight. And because the flexible OLED displays are crafted using a flexible plastic substrate, users don’t have to contend with the glossy cover glass found on virtually all mobile displays today. Since there is no cover glass, the display appears to be right on the surface of the screen which Soneira found to be visually striking.

Do you like the idea of a curved display or are you still on the 'gimmick' bandwagon?




User Comments: 22

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Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Kind of a "duh" on this one. Curved displays are to be assumed... just wait till they get the kinks out of the way and actually make it useful instead of using it as a market gimmick. I'll be waiting on the 2nd or 3rd generation of curved display phones.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Kind of a "duh" on this one. Curved displays are to be assumed... just wait till they get the kinks out of the way and actually make it useful instead of using it as a market gimmick. I'll be waiting on the 2nd or 3rd generation of curved display phones.

I'd like to add, that it would be nice, as trivial as it may sound... that the phone contours to my leg while it's in my pocket... that would be a nice little gimmick, hah!

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Do you like the idea of a curved display or are you still on the 'gimmick' bandwagon?
I'm not on the gimmick bandwagon, I just don't personally have a use for the curved display. I do however find them interesting. I would much rather have a phone that is slightly flexible, than have one that is by nature curved.

Eddo22 said:

Ok so:

Curved TV = Bad

Flat TV = Good

Flat Phone = Bad

Curved Phone = Good?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ok so:

Curved TV = Bad

Flat TV = Good

Flat Phone = Bad

Curved Phone = Good?

Would that not depend on the common relative viewing angle from the screen. I can see advantages and disadvantages to both flat and curved displays in both phone and TV.

2 people like this | Arris Arris said:

Up until now phone screens have been criticised when they have had poor viewing angles, now these curved screens reduced viewing angles are to be believed to be for the sake of privacy. Yeah, yeah. Still believe it's just a case of doing it because they can. And as far as reflecting light away from the users line of sight, I'm wary of that too. Right now if I have a light shining on my flat screen I simply tilt it slightly to remove it completely from the screen. With a curved surface it will take more of tilt before the light source is no longer reflecting on it. I call further bullshit, more tilting to remove glare/reflections plus reduced viewing angles doesn't sound like a winning combination to me.

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Guest said:

Curved phones.. oh! now we can play see saw on it.

Puiu Puiu said:

I just want to know how this will feel in my pockets and if the curve makes it stronger or weaker to bending/dropping/hitting.

Guest said:

Crank it to 11 and I'll buy one

3 people like this | mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

Curved screens: The unneeded stepping stone between flat and flexible

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

It's a gimmick and you won't convince me otherwise for now. As for the advantages these so-called experts state, bah, companies probably paid them to to dream up something constructive to say in order for them to help foist these things on the gimmicky/unwary suckers.

Maybe in the future something may come of this but as of now... Pull the other one, it as bells on it.

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Display 'expert'? There's only one expert who matters and that's the customer. This will probably turn out just like everything else we've debated... like do we need a removable battery or microSD. You'll hear both sides of it, and there will be phones available to buy for whatever consumers like. I'll bet my paycheck that 5 years from now Samsung will still have a flat screen phone full of the latest hardware. They will probably just have a Galaxy S6 and a Galaxy S6 Curve.

I imagine we'll see some models with curved screens, but it will be a preference for those buyers and we will not look at a flat phone like it's obsolete. No one would ever call the iPhone obsolete just because they haven't jumped on the 5 inch screen bandwagon. But there are plenty of people who love their 5 inch screens. I think curved screens will be similar.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Duh, and will it blend?

It surely is a helpful innovation for a display company to put a new spin on existing and otherwise stale products...

2 people like this | treeski treeski said:

I want a device with a flexible body and screen that I can bend depending on my needs.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

Thumb reach better. Me like.

dcnc123 dcnc123 said:

Yup a bendable phone is the way to go... if I want to go private I'll bend it and if I want to watch movies with my friends then flatten it.... and maybe bend the other way around? D

Guest said:

My thumb movies in an arc so it might be easier to use single-handed but probably won't make much difference. I'll wait to try one before I declare it a gimmick or not.

Guest said:

Still a marketing gimmick and I disagree with both ideas explained.

1. It does not provide more privacy. If one side of the curve slightly faces away from your seatmate, the other side does otherwise. So it could actually reveal more view to others than flat screens.

2. Notice the reflectors of solar cells to be concave to concentrate the light to the receptor. So the concave nature of the display actually reflects more light to the user.

Fbarnett Fbarnett said:

LOL what is a display expert? AKA somebody paid by samsung

"

Display expert says curved displays offer practical advantages over flat screens"

technogiant said:

Curved OLED screen inside Occulus Rift please :-)

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

To all the people criticizing the display "experts" over their opinions and comments in regards to the product at hand. Have you held it? Have you tested the viewing angle? No and No, nor are you the so claimed expert. It's easy to say he's paid off and hes full of shit, but do you actually know better? How can you, this is virgin technology, you just won't know until you see it with your own eyes and hold it in your hand. It's like the 3D debacle, some people will like the technology, others will not. Don't be so eager to deny the advantages before first getting a first hand experience, because until you do, your opinion is worth less than the "expert" who has.

And for whats its worth, if the viewing angle is reduced to those around you and not you, that's a Plus. Better ease of use for people with short fingers, another Plus. No glass means better visual experience, again if true, another Plus.

Arris Arris said:

To all the people criticizing the display "experts" over their opinions and comments in regards to the product at hand. Have you held it? Have you tested the viewing angle? No and No, nor are you the so claimed expert. It's easy to say he's paid off and hes full of ****, but do you actually know better? How can you, this is virgin technology, you just won't know until you see it with your own eyes and hold it in your hand. It's like the 3D debacle, some people will like the technology, others will not. Don't be so eager to deny the advantages before first getting a first hand experience, because until you do, your opinion is worth less than the "expert" who has.

If the materials used for the OLED screen defuse light in some way to reduce the amount of reflected light, then fine. But light shining on a curved surface or flat surface of any kind allows you to get an idea how reflected light and glare will play across other similar surfaces. I think it could be more of an issue holding it in landscape orientation (for the portrait left to right curved device). I preferred the early mockups showing the use of flexible OLED displays to have the screen go over the edge of the phone rather than having a completely curved display.

On a positive note with ever increasing screen sizes I do like the fact the curve might make it less of a stretch to reach across the screen with fingers and thumbs.

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