Smartphones have changed dramatically since the first iPhone launched in 2007.
Almost every smartphone we see today is a rectangular slab of display with battery and components behind it. Sharp, one of the largest display manufacturers in the world, have a lot to do with the direction in which the electronics industry can go, which is why the company’s newly unveiled “Free-Form” display technology is so exciting.
Free-Form take the display drivers that usually lie around the edges of the display bezel and disperses them among the pixels of the display area.
This subtle change means that displays no longer have to be rectangular with large black bezels around the edges, they can be any number of shapes with curves and corners the add context to their surroundings, like the temperature and fan speed readings above the dials in an in-car entertainment console changing to the volume and radio station settings when that part of the display is brought up.
Sharp is hoping that the new technology will find a home in a host of applications, including the automotive industry (which is already becoming more smartphone like), as well as in the new wave of wearables that could use the new display technology to create elliptical watch faces like the Moto360 promises.