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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:33 PM   #1
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Sharp's 'Free-Form Displays' with Ultra-Thin Bezels Make New Display Shapes Possible




Sharp today announced its upcoming "Free-Form Display" technology that will allow the company to nearly eliminate the traditional bezel that surrounds LCD displays. As a result, Sharp will be able to build LCD panels in nearly any shape to conform to the display area of the intended product.

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Conventional displays are rectangular because they require a minimal width for the bezel in order to accommodate the drive circuit, called the gate driver, around the perimeter of the screen's display area. With the Free-Form Display, the gate driver's function is dispersed throughout the pixels on the display area. This allows the bezel to be shrunk considerably, and it gives the freedom to design the LCD to match whatever shape the display area of the screen needs to be.
As an example, Sharp demonstrates a prototype display for a vehicle dashboard, with the display conforming to the shape of the main instrument panel, but the company also address the possibility of using the technology for "wearable devices with elliptical displays".

The concept of non-rectangular LCD displays naturally ties in to Apple's rumored iWatch, which at least one analyst believes will include a round display, although most recent rumors have suggested the device will use an OLED display. Still, advancements in LCD technology that would allow for non-traditional display shapes open the door to many different possibilities for future devices, particularly as wearables appear set to become an increasingly significant focus for mobile device companies.

Reducing bezel thickness on traditionally shaped devices such as the iPhone and iPad has also been a goal for Apple, seeking to maximize display size relative to the overall device size. Sharp's technology could serve to push this effort even further, and issues with devices registering unintended touches from simply holding the device should be minimized as Apple has already developed software solutions for recognizing those touches as part of the development of the iPad mini and iPad Air.

Sharp has not announced when its Free-Form Display technology will be ready for use, noting only that will enter mass production "at the earliest possible date."

Article Link: Sharp's 'Free-Form Displays' with Ultra-Thin Bezels Make New Display Shapes Possible
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:35 PM   #2
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I fear these kinds of articles. I want this now! Anything less than this is rubbish!
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:35 PM   #3
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Judging from the image I thought Sharp introduced their first electronic pillory.

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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:35 PM   #4
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Now THIS is innovation .
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:35 PM   #5
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LCARS. LCARS everywhere!
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:39 PM   #6
matrickz
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Nice!

Always thought these kind of displays are way too futuristic,

very innovative from sharp, very well suited for car displays

Maybe these kind of displays are gonna be in the iWatch, would be very cool because apple could make a complete traditional watch dial out of display mass
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:46 PM   #7
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Looks like a cool technology. Can't wait until Apple invents it!
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:50 PM   #8
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Futuristic!
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:52 PM   #9
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I feel like this will somehow complicate coding graphics... the origin (0,0) on displays is always at the top or bottom left corner. Where should it be on an irregularly shaped display, particularly one without corners? In the exact center? Centered on a certain edge? Or would you just pretend that the display is still a rectangle and just have (0, 0) be off of the screen?
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:52 PM   #10
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So, there is no need to use OLED now?
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:54 PM   #11
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They might not need the bezel for the circuitry, but I hope they don't need it for protection against bumps. I'd wonder what would happen if something bumped against an edge of the display unprotected by any plastic bezel.
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOV View Post
Judging from the image I thought Sharp introduced their first electronic pillory.
Well, to their credit, at least it has climate control. Which shows concern for the welfare of their prisoners/victims.
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:56 PM   #13
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Sweet. I’ll take one.

Wait, what do you mean they’re not shipping anything with this technology yet?
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:57 PM   #14
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This + Yosemite Handoff/Continuity = The tech from Avatar.

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Old Jun 18, 2014, 01:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by filmantopia View Post
Looks like a cool technology. Can't wait until Apple invents it!
...and Samsung steals it, gets sued, counter sues... ad infinitum
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 02:02 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
I feel like this will somehow complicate coding graphics... the origin (0,0) on displays is always at the top or bottom left corner. Where should it be on an irregularly shaped display, particularly one without corners? In the exact center? Centered on a certain edge? Or would you just pretend that the display is still a rectangle and just have (0, 0) be off of the screen?
Origin could just be in the visual center of the screen, and layout could be still be more or less cartesian.
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 02:04 PM   #17
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Yeah finally some car technology
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 02:07 PM   #18
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I'm guessing we won't see this in phones for several year, correct?
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 02:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtOfWarfare View Post
I feel like this will somehow complicate coding graphics... the origin (0,0) on displays is always at the top or bottom left corner. Where should it be on an irregularly shaped display, particularly one without corners? In the exact center? Centered on a certain edge? Or would you just pretend that the display is still a rectangle and just have (0, 0) be off of the screen?
For programmers, we would likely continue to treat it as a rectangle and know that some parts are just off screen. It's not really different than old CRT TVs, where part of the image is hidden by the bezel.

Actually, the non screen parts might be a good place to render diagnostics that would be visible in simulators or mirroring the display on an external device.
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 02:16 PM   #20
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We have been using half-circular displays for a while but the bezel is quite large. The Sharp displays will be much nicer to work with.

The other day I also notice one of our systems that used a circular display about two inches in diameter. I haven't had a change to take a closer look so I don't know what the bezel on that one looks like.

If Sharp can make these cost effective they will open up a lot of new designs in many fields.
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 02:27 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmantopia View Post
Looks like a cool technology. Can't wait until Apple invents it!

Looks like a cool technology. Can't wait until Apple makes it usable!

There. Fixed that for you.

Seriously, pretty darn cool. I can see that opening up a lot of possibilities in the car and beyond. No more big rectangular screen disrupting the flow of an otherwise beautifully designed dash.
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 02:32 PM   #22
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May finally see notebooks with [near-]zero bezel screens. Lose so much screen space with those 1" bezels...
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 02:39 PM   #23
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Lock it down Apple. Lock... it... down...

One of the more important evolutions/innovations of the last several years, I'd say.
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 03:11 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TsunamiTheClown View Post
Origin could just be in the visual center of the screen, and layout could be still be more or less cartesian.
I think it would make more sense for them to be polar, at least for certain configurations (cough circular watch cough). Granted, I have no idea how well that would play out in practice. Perhaps multiple options? Sounds odd but it may work...or not.

Although now that I think about it, you could get a lot of different shapes out of a combination of the two without designing something entirely new.
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Old Jun 18, 2014, 03:31 PM   #25
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LG is amazing with displays... although maybe they should wait til it's mass producible before they announce everything. We probably won't see this tech appear in the wild for a few more years. By then we would be focusing on other tech.

EDIT: Woah, definitely read this as LG. Sorry, Sharp!
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