Sharp's 'Free-Form Displays' with Ultra-Thin Bezels Make New Display Shapes Possible

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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
  2. macrumors 6502


    May 7, 2009
    I fear these kinds of articles. I want this now! Anything less than this is rubbish!
  3. NOV
    macrumors 6502


    Mar 27, 2004
    The Netherlands
    Judging from the image I thought Sharp introduced their first electronic pillory.

  4. macrumors P6


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
  5. macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2011
  6. macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2014

    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 :D
  7. macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2010
    Looks like a cool technology. Can't wait until Apple invents it!
  8. macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2013
  9. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    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?
  10. macrumors 6502


    Sep 2, 2013
  11. macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    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.
  12. macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2007
    Well, to their credit, at least it has climate control. Which shows concern for the welfare of their prisoners/victims.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 2, 2013
    Sweet. I’ll take one.

    Wait, what do you mean they’re not shipping anything with this technology yet?
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    This + Yosemite Handoff/Continuity = The tech from Avatar.

  15. macrumors 6502a


    May 29, 2008
    ...and Samsung steals it, gets sued, counter sues... ad infinitum
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    Origin could just be in the visual center of the screen, and layout could be still be more or less cartesian.
  17. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2010
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 8, 2008
    Northern Va
    I'm guessing we won't see this in phones for several year, correct?
  19. macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2008
    Kansas City, MO
    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.
  20. macrumors 65816

    Jun 18, 2010
    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.
  21. macrumors 68030

    Nov 10, 2007

    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.
  22. macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    May finally see notebooks with [near-]zero bezel screens. Lose so much screen space with those 1" bezels...
  23. macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2012
    Lock it down Apple. Lock... it... down...

    One of the more important evolutions/innovations of the last several years, I'd say.
  24. macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
    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.
  25. afsnyder, Jun 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014

    macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2014
    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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