I got a chance to look at some of Samsung Displays' new and upcoming products, probably one of the highlights of my CES 2013 experience. There's a bit to go through, but first up are their buzzworthy curved displays and a concept phone or two. I spent three years in my undergrad optical and electrical engineering education working on curving a CCD for use matching focal planes, and thus curved displays are instantly near and dear to me as interesting next steps.

Samsung was showing off a single-axis curve in their demo room. First is a larger size display with a relatively small bend radius. It's a hemicylindrical display designed for signage.

Next are two smartphone concepts. I've been wondering for some time what curved (not necessarily flexible) displays would enable or look like for a smartphone, and Samsung's concepts are actually pretty innovative looking. The two concepts have a bend on the horizontal or vertical axis — a bend on the right side, or bottom. Then a flip cover covers the planar section of the display while leaving the curved section exposed. This ostensibly allows glanceable information, notifications, and messages to be displayed without requiring a user to flip open the whole phone, and with AMOLED this section can be lit up without having to light up the entire display for saving some power. 

The bend radius on these two isn't very extreme but looks like it could be a compelling example use case for a smartphone design. I don't expect either of these designs to come to market immediately, but it's clearly something on Samsung's mind for future products. The entire touch layer and display glass is curved with the display underneath.

[section and photo removed at Samsung's request]

Although we originally had more specific information, I strongly suspect the rumored 4.99-inch 1080p AMOLED display will find its way into whatever Galaxy S 4 ends up being. 

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  • Mumrik - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    remember when we paid extra to get a monitor that wasn't curved? Reply
  • QQBoss - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Burying a lead is what a detective does to avoid solving a case.

    Burying a lede is what you did.

    1080p at 4.99". So when can I get my 4K 24" or 27" monitor? 2560x1440 is nice, but falling so far behind the dpi curve. What is limiting Samsung from scaling up other than probably intentional blindness as to user acceptance? I guess they would never answer a question about failure rates related to area, would they.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    I used to be a stickler for lede vs lead, but both are actually acceptable spellings that refer to the exact same thing apparently.

    Also the answer for why you don't see gigantic displays is the same size and yield optimization function that affects die size. Bigger = higher odds of finding a defect, and thus more material thrown away.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • blanarahul - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    I've still got no idea why Samsung likes to emphasize that they have a 4.99" 1080p screen and not a 5" 1080p screen.

    ((1920^2)+(1080^2))/4.99 = 441.46
    ((1920^2)+(1080^2))/5 = 440.58

    The difference in PPI is less than 1 and they still like to brag about it.
    And it is much harder to pronounce 4.99 than it is to pronounce 5.
    Reply
  • blanarahul - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    Sorry. It should be
    2202.9/4.99 = 441.46
    2202.9/5 = 440.58

    where 2202.9 = ((1920^2)+(1080^2))^(1/2)
    Reply
  • Xyraxx - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    They are being accurate... Since when do enthusiasts like us fault companies for being accurate down to the point?

    Does this really rustle your jimmies? I mean, its 4.99.... so that what they are calling it. Why exactly would your mind be put at ease if they told a little lie and called it 5" when its NOT 5"?

    Is there really any rational reason to insist they tell a tiny little white lie for no reason? Jesus.... get a grip man.
    Reply
  • sheh - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    I think Acer hinted at high DPI 20"+ monitors. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    How usable would such a screen be outdoors? Reply
  • Xyraxx - Monday, January 14, 2013 - link

    Screen size, pixel layout and resolution don't tell us anything about view-ability in direct sunlight. We will need to await more details for that. Reply
  • Brulath - Sunday, January 13, 2013 - link

    A display constituting half a cylinder split down its axis is hemicylindrical, not hemispherical (half a sphere). That said, it'd be pretty cool if they could create a hemispherical touch display in the future - such a device could make for some pretty interesting 3D experiences if combined with headtracking. Reply

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