[Design Story] Bending Reality with Curved Displays

on May 15, 2015
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Best known for his rejection of geometric shapes, Austrian painter and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser was fascinated by the curvature of spirals. He believed straight lines were drawn by rule, without thought or feeling. He called his theory of art “transautomatism,” and placed great emphasis on the experience of the viewer. Just as the world we live in exists in curves and organic shapes, it’s only natural to conclude that curved surfaces offer infinitely more possibilities than flat ones. This is the story of how we bent reality.

Finding the Perfect Angle


Extensive research and tests were conducted to find the perfect curve for a handheld device. Everything from preserving display quality to ease of use, was considered to optimize every part of the user experience. Rigorous testing found that a 60-degree curve widened the screen, but made the device easy to drop. The perfect angle of 70 degrees allowed the device to be picked up safely and easily, while allowing the user to see the edge screen without having to tilt the device or tilt their head. It also allowed access to content without having to unlock the phone. The outstanding grip of the tapered contour and keyless design enabled ambidextrous control from either hand. This was to be the moment of change, the next step in user innovation.


Product Design and UX Must Work Hand in Hand


Research into flexible display technology took off in 2010 and developed at a rapid pace. As with anything, the power of this technology was contingent on how the exterior design worked with the user interaction (UX). Neither the design nor the UX is meaningful without the other.
 [Design Story] Bending Reality with Curved Displays


With a naturally intuitive interactive experience, using the control settings on the elegant smooth screen is user-friendly, quick and easy. Combining a main screen and an edge screen presented new possibilities, never before seen with a single flat screen.


Two in One


Separate from the main screen, the edge screen can be used on its own. It is also possible to use both screens together or as one continuous display. The ability to use both screens separately or together, exceeded the potential of the single screen device.


[Design Story] Bending Reality with Curved Displays


Exclusive Touch Interaction


The edge screen has made way for an entirely new set of interactions that was once impossible with a single flat screen. Apps can be used in the edge screen without unlocking the device. After finding apps and content in the edge screen, dragging the desired content to the main screen unlocks the device for immediate access. Users can set interactive functions to use the screens as they wish.


[Design Story] Bending Reality with Curved Displays

[Design Story] Bending Reality with Curved Displays


Always On


Our ethos is to provide the ultimate experience to enable users to optimize their lives. That is the spirit of “Always On” and the new curved surface. We remain relentless in our effort to provide true value by fusing product design, user experience and cutting edge technology.


The curved surface experience came from continuous insight into the needs of our users and a deep understanding of technology and how it benefits us all. Our commitment to people-focused design continues to break barriers and provide a key to a truly smart world.


Visit design.samsung.com to read more Samsung Electronics design stories.


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