Whether you think Apple’s copying trends or setting new market standards, a curved iPhone screen could be in the works. The Cupertino phone maker is working on new iPhone designs that include bigger screens with curved glass and enhanced sensors, according to a recent Bloomberg report. The hardware update could boost Apple’s brand after years of minimal design changes, playing up to consumer demand for fresh features.
There’s two curved-screen iPhone models planned for release during the second half of 2014, according to Bloomberg’s unnamed sources. One model would feature larger displays with glass curving downward at the edges. With screens at 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches, the two models would be Apple’s largest iPhones, approaching the size of rival smartphones, including the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 launched by Samsung in September.
In an effort to leapfrog competitors, however, the new iPhone models’ extra sensors could introduce a wealth of new apps in Apple’s ecosystem, taking in more of the user’s environment and interactions, incorporating barometric pressure and the heaviness or lightness of touchscreen gestures.
Stay ahead of the curve
From smartphones to smart watches, expectations are high for Apple’s next “big thing.” In the meantime, other gadget makers are unveiling their own versions of the devices we hope to one day see from Apple, all striving to gain a first-mover advantage in a finicky and fast-paced mobile market.
Both Samsung and LG released curved-glass smartphones in recent weeks, pushing hardware innovation in a plea for consumer attention. Revolutionary design can distinguish a smartphone for today’s buyer, and there’s no shortage of phone makers ready to divert you from Apple’s strong hold on consumer appeal.
- Samsung Galaxy Round
Samsung’s Galaxy Round boasts a 5.7-inch 1080p screen, the same size as the Galaxy Note III, but the difference lies in the fact that its screen is concave. It measures 7.9mm thick, weighs 154g, and has a 2800mAh battery. Additional features include a 13MP rear camera, 2.3GHz quad-core processor.
The entirety of the Galaxy Round device is curved, all with the purpose of introducing a new feature called “Round Interaction.” When the device is place on a flat surface, tilting it to one side would allow the user to see information such as missed calls, battery life, and the date and time, even when the screen is turned off.
- LG G Flex
LG is also leveraging curved screens to incorporate more interactive capabilities, with the brand new G Flex. What makes the G Flex unique is its “swing lock screen” which moves the wallpaper in response to the tilting motion and produces different unlocking effects when the user touches different areas of the screen. There is also a feature that lets users access multimedia apps directly when they pinch the lock screen.
Until very recently, curved smartphone screens were things of sci-fi dreams. Concepts have been presented for years, all finding ways to increase gadget interaction through the use of curved screens. The new take on device interfacing will make gadget design more flexible in the future, engaging a number of ways in which tech can be worn, and content consumed.
Never short on ideas is the imagination. Here’s five very cool concept designs from top manufacturers that bring together flexible screens with wearable technology, concepts we’ll hopefully see in the very near future.
This concept design for a flexible wearable computer was designed by Hiromi Kiriki, looking like something from the movie Tron Legacy. It’s a smartphone, or a tablet or even a personal computer, as it gives you the ability to perform various tasks with its flexible and stretchable screen.
This concept device is sleek with its black and neon blue color scheme, but if you’re more into color, the green and white version looks peaceful while the pink and white caters to anyone’s feminine side.
It can be rolled up for when you want to wear it on your wrist, or flattened for tabletop functionality. When rolled up, it will still give you the information you need and possibly provide some basic smartphone activities such as SMS, phone calls, status updates, or just simply giving you the date and time.
Designed by Erik Campbell, this wearable phone looks like it came from outer space because of the tactile keypad and memory alloy articulation. It still looks fashionable if you like wearing metal accessories, plus the screen is slidable that reveals a keyboard, though based on the orientation of the screen, you’d have a hard time using the keyboard while wearing it.
Dubbed as Fluid, this flexible gadget reminds me of a slap bracelet. It’s flat when you want to it be spread out, and bendable when you need to wear it. This concept was created by Brazilian designer Dinard da Mata. Because of its size, gaming might be fun using this device.
The ASUS WaveFace was introduced at CES 2010 which makes the Apple iWatch rumor look like the copycat. It features a screen that seems to be alive with waves of information, and is gesture controlled. It’s part of the ASUS Advanced Project 2010, which also showcases the Waveface Light, a flexible tablet, and the Waveface Casa, which is a home information and entertainment center.
This flexible smartphone concept seems to cater to more outdoorsy people. It doesn’t fully envelop your wrist, but it comes with a wrist cradle and colorful, flexible plates that support the device itself, as well as attach to the cradle. You can use the flexible smartphone on its own or attach it to the cradle to so it can stand on its own. It has the specs of a low to mid-end smartphone.
Kristen Nicole has also contributed to other publications, from TIME Techland to Forbes. Her work has been syndicated across a number of media outlets, including The New York Times, and MSNBC.
Kristen Nicole published her first book, The Twitter Survival Guide, and is currently completing her second book on predictive analytics.