Sharp develops Free-Form IGZO display – can be any shape you want it

sharp protype displaySharp has just introduced the Free-Form Display, a new technology that will allow device makers to create gadgets without being restricted to those typical square and rectangular form factors.

Sharp’s latest creation will mean that smartwatches can be curved and fit more naturally on the wearer’s wrist, phones could become banana-shaped and digital dashboards can be any shape the designers wish them to be.

Sharp states that “Coventional displays are rectangular because they require a minimal width for the bezel in order to accommodate the drive circuit, called the gate driver, around the perimeter of the screen’s display area,”

According to Sharp their new display incorporates IGZO technology and proprietary “circuit design methods”. The gate driver’s function, the PR explains, is dispersed throughout the pixels on the display area. Because of this, the bezel shrinks and allows them to be formed to whatever shape is needed.

As an example, the company’s prototype is the dashboard of a car, combining a speedometer with the fuel gauge, temperature gauge and so on. There are only two square angles located at the base where it’s connected to the display stand; the rest is all curves.

“There are other possibilities for displays with sophisticated designs that include wearable devices with elliptical displays and digital signage and other large monitors that draw the viewer into the onscreen world,”

Currently, the company plans to go into mass production “at the earliest possible date” but when exactly that will be is unknown at this point. Still, it will be interesting to see how device makers will take to the new technology.