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Smartphone With Curved Screen Is On Its Way

Samsung, which released a curved TV earlier this year, now wants to do the same with a handset display

2 min read
Smartphone With Curved Screen Is On Its Way

Samsung announced today that it is preparing to release a smartphone with a curved screen in October, according to BBC News and other sources. The company has invested significant time and money in developing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, which are being used in development of curved and flexible screens because they don't require a backlight and aren't limited to being used with rigid materials, such as glass. This new handset could be a first step toward Samsung's goal of producing flexible screens for a new generation of pliable portables.

Samsung's head of strategic marketing for mobile business, D.J. Lee, declined to give further details or specs at a South Korean event for the company's smartwatch, Galaxy Gear, but, according to the Wall Street Journal, a Korean patent Samsung filed in June (below) shows a slightly concave screen.

It has seemed for a few years now that Samsung views flexible devices—technology that is foldable, rollable, or generally malleable—as a way of differentiating its products and evolving in the highly competitive smartphone market. The company released a curved 55-inch TV (above) after showing prototypes of the television and a flexible-screen smartphone at CES last January. But competitors like LG are working on flexible tech as well. OLED screens, which have been in development for about 15 years now, are appealing because each pixel gives off its own light, eliminating the need for the battery-sucking backlights that are used in liquid crystal displays (LCD).

A curved screen smartphone from Samsung would only be a first step into the world of flexible tech, and whatever the company releases in October will probably be a high end product. But Samsung can use the handset to test consumer interest in flexible screens and experiment with how the technology wears in the wild. If flexible tech takes off Samsung may end up, you know, ahead of the curve.

Images: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images (top); Korea Intellectual Property Rights Information Service
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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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