Smartphone displays are getting larger and increasingly more advanced, as companies like Apple, Samsung, and LG work tirelessly behind-the-scenes to perfect and polish their display technologies.
Apple has been working on a highly-advanced evolution of OLED technology dubbed MicroLED, which the company envisions applying to a range of devices from Apple Watch to iPhone, iPad, and even Macs. At the same time, Apple’s fiercest competitors including Samsung and LG have also been working on their next-generation display technologies — with the former reportedly gearing up to commercialize theirs within the next year.
At last month’s annual Society for Information Display (SID) expo 2018, Samsung showcased an intriguing new sound-emitting OLED display concept, which is essentially an advanced OLED display panel that relies on subtle vibrations and bone conduction to generate sound in lieu of a traditional front-facing earpiece.
Watch a Samsung rep demonstrate and explain how the technology works below! (via DisplayWeek)
Not only does the technology effectively override the need for an earpiece like traditional smartphones, but according to the report, Samsung’s “Sound on Display” tech will afford the company more space to stretch its OLED display panels even further up and down the front of their devices, including the upcoming Galaxy S10, which Korea’s official ET News reported (via Google Translate) could be the first commercially available smartphone to feature the breakthrough.
Interestingly, at SID 2018, Samsung showcased Sound on Display technology on a 6.2-inch Galaxy S9+ — but ET News confirmed that the company’s smaller, non + variant of the Galaxy S10 will be the one featuring a larger 6.2-inch display next year, suggesting the display on Sammy’s Galaxy S10+ could be even larger like 6.5-inches.
Since there would be a good amount of extra space up front with no earpiece onboard, it only makes logical sense that Samsung would stretch the panel out to create a truly edge-to-edge design like so many smartphone OEMs, including Apple, have been striving for.
“The transmission bandwidth is said to be in the 100 ~ 8000 Hz range, and, thanks to the very fine vibrations, you would only hear the sound if you put your ear to a fairly wide area at the top half of the screen,” PhoneArena reported of Samsung’s technology, which can be visualized via the circular symbol on the prototype’s display.
It’s hard to say whether the tech will be well-received or not, or whether it will actually function acceptably as a medium of relaying audible tones.
Luckily, the concept appears quite promising, and as Samsung’s rep assures us, the company will continue working on it over the next few months and years.
LG is also slated to commercialize a variant of sound-emitting display tech next year, though today’s report is mum on those details.
Asian smartphone maker, Vivo, whose V20 flagship was first to market with display-embedded fingerprint scanning tech, is likewise on track to release a sound-emitting display tech dubbed ‘Screen SoundCasting’ on its freshly-announced NEX flagship, and according to a Vivo spokesperson, “compared to other audio solutions for bezel-less smartphones, [Screen SoundCasting] conserves power, reduces sound leakage, and optimizes low to high pitch sound for a better and more balanced audio experience.”