Sharp announces Free-Form Display panels, breaks free of rectangle constraints

Once again, Sharp is at the top of the display mountain. The company, lately known for its energy-efficient IGZO display panels, announced Free-Form Display. Thanks to the aforementioned IGZO tech and proprietary circuit designs, Sharp's creation gives engineers and designers unparalleled freedom in coming up with the device's form. While common smartphone displays are rectangular and must accommodate a drive circuit in their bezels, the Free-Form LCD Display is mostly free of such constraints, as its gate driver is dispersed through the pixels on the display matrix. The bezel can be minimized to borderline non-existence, and designers can twist it to whatever shape they want.

The FF Display isn't for mobile devices only. Sharp's concepts include a single panel on a car dashboard, elliptical screens for wearables, and large monitors with shapes that make them more immersive. Hopefully, this will pave the way for more interesting and daring smartphone designs. It's not known when these displays will be heading to production, but Sharp promised to put them on the market as early as possible.

source: Sharp



1. aayupanday

Posts: 582; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

RIP Bezels

2. Takeharu

Posts: 285; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Now, this is what they call innovation!

8. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Except this is new exactly HOW?

11. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Tell me where have you seen this before?

12. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Actually the Motorola Aura have a non rectangular screen back in 2008.

15. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

It's not only about the shape, but also about the drive circuitry

24. Krjal

Posts: 431; Member since: Dec 19, 2013

And it's amazing! How did they 'disperse' it among the pixels?

3. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

wow. pure innovation

4. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

This is great. Innovative, but I can't seem to think of any other shape, that doesn't look weird, for a smartphone except rectangular :S

7. ManusImperceptus

Posts: 724; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

Something fan-shaped for easy one-handed (thumb) handling.

22. TheGenius

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Now apple cant sue anyone for a rectangular phone with curved edges ;)

10. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

exert some effort. you'll realize that with this, the whole front panel can be turned into the display itself with some punctured or cut out parts to accommodate the camera, proximity sensor, and speaker holes. add local dimming to the mix and you can have a display that acts like amoled. the center portion is dedicated for the android UI while the parts to the sides can be used for notifications or for the on-screen buttons. no need for the stupid YOUM concept that samsung can't find good use with.

14. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

What I meant was, everyone is so used to rectangular smartphone that when a differently shaped phone comes out, i.e. circle, oval, fan^ hexagon, whatever the shape may be, it will look plain weird and silly since we're so used to a rectangle. Sorry, should have put more effort into dumbing it down a notch.

16. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

If you look at smartphone use of this tech, it might not be for alternative shapes. But it might mean bezelless smartphones for instance.

17. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

Had a blonde moment. Thank you Mr Clue :)

23. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

No worries, I have moments of cluelessness as well ;)

19. Joshua9007

Posts: 94; Member since: Jun 08, 2012

I don't think that the phone necessarily will not be a rectangle shape overall, but there are areas to innovate within the current norms as well. A phone company could cut out around the physical home button and have the screen go end to end, or say that they rounded the corners of the phone to such an extent that the screen area was also rounded off... The bigger problem for smartphones is to figure out what to do with the extra screen, because in both of these situations it will not increase the usable 'real-estate' for say watching a movie, so they will have to find something that makes sense to a consumer.... not just add something to be different.

20. Vexify

Posts: 570; Member since: Jun 16, 2014

Well said

5. ManusImperceptus

Posts: 724; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

Cool! I foresee lots of trouble for app developers configuring their views to displays of varying shapes, though...

6. ManusImperceptus

Posts: 724; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

Cool! I foresee lots of trouble for app developers configuring their views to displays of varying shapes, though...

9. fsalto98

Posts: 31; Member since: Apr 25, 2014

That's amazing

13. surethom

Posts: 1691; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

This if fantastic, I see this in cars & advertising displays.

18. jaytai0106

Posts: 1888; Member since: Mar 30, 2011

WANT... TO... TOUCH... CAN... NOT... RESIST... THE... URGE...

21. serrano989

Posts: 39; Member since: Apr 02, 2012

Combine this with flexible screen tech and they can have endless possibilities.

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