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Print 24 comment(s) - last by inperfectdarkn.. on Jun 25 at 5:41 PM

Say "goodbye" to rectangles and "hello" to more organic shapes

If you look at the display screens for nearly any type of consumer electronic device — be it a smartphone, tablet, computer, television, or GPS unit — they are all rectangular-shaped. The same goes for the screens that we find in our vehicles that display navigation/infotainment information.
 
Finding displays that buck this trend are few and far between, with most recent example being the Motorola Moto 360 (the Nest Learning Thermostat’s display screen “appears” to be round, but it’s actually a square display with “with only the visible portion populated with pixels” according to iFixit).
 
Sharp is looking to think outside the box with its new Free-Form Display technology that allows displays to take on a more organic shape to better blend in with its surroundings. Traditional displays must maintain a sizeable bezel around the screen for the drive circuit or “gate driver.” Using IGZO technology and some of its own “secret sauce,” Sharp was able to commingle the gate driver with the pixels on the screen to drastically minimize the size of the bezel.

 
This allows the for a display screen that can be shaped in almost any design that you desire. The two prototypes that Sharp has on display are clearly geared towards the automotive sector, but the applications of this technology are endless.
 
Sharp is working to bring Free-Form Display technology to the market as soon as possible.

Sources: Sharp [1], [2]



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RE: Interesting tech
By Nexos on 6/20/2014 8:28:18 AM , Rating: 2
Analogue tachs/speedos/clocks/etc are round because the dial describes a circle as it travels across its spectrum. There is no practical reason to have circular LCD displays instead of square, other than packaging (even that is a bit of a stretch, designing around square-ish displays at most a few inches across isn't exactly rocket science)

Once round analogue dials leave the public consciousness these will look absolutely idiotic.


RE: Interesting tech
By Motoman on 6/20/2014 10:50:14 AM , Rating: 3
Round analog dials are used for such purposes because they are perfectly suited for conveying the relevant information to the driver - which isn't a precise number for the current RPMs or MPH, but what the rate of change is. A needle sweeping an arc is superb for this purpose.

Hence, I find it highly unlikely that round analog dials will ever "leave the public conscience."


RE: Interesting tech
By inperfectdarkness on 6/22/2014 9:39:58 AM , Rating: 1
Completely disagree. There are many other methods via which this can be transmitted. By a pure numeric readout, the rate of change can be indicated by a +/- MPH/sec feature. There have been MANY commercially successful cars in the 90's (even some in the 80's) which featured a purely numeric digital display (i.e. calculator-style LCD readout).

And that's just one other display. A linear display with "0 mph" on the left and, say "200 mph" on the right can have a "needle-style" indicator or even a lighted bar that traverses the graph--which would indicate current speed and rate of change.

Line graphs, bar graphs, etc...so many types of digital readouts are possible with an LED style display screen; and that's not to mention altering the size, location, colors, shapes, etc. Some people may want an oversize tachometer. Others may want many small gauges so they can fit in other readouts like exhaust temp, transmission temp, etc.

I'm firmly of the opinion that once consumers realize how much more choice and option they have with digital, LED-style, customizable readouts--the days of analogue gauges in automobiles is all but doomed.


RE: Interesting tech
By Motoman on 6/22/2014 11:23:01 AM , Rating: 3
And there's no doubt in my mind that you're wrong.

This tech bubbled up and filtered out of the enthusiast and racer market a long time ago. Nothing works as well for conveying the appropriate information to the driver than a dial gauge.

If you want, render a dial gauge digitally.

But the market has already rejected your other approaches. Which is why those awesome displays you mentioned from the 80s and 90s stayed in the 80s and 90s.


RE: Interesting tech
By inperfectdarkness on 6/25/2014 5:41:49 PM , Rating: 2
No, the reason those styles of gauges remain as an experimental footnote in automotive history is because progress has stagnated. ISP's would never invest in broadband capabilities if consumers were eternally happy with 56k dialup; and car MFG's have never invested in better instrumentation so long as consumers have been content with antiquated analogue tech.

If dial gauges were the be-all-end-all of speed indications, they would would also be indicated as such on HUD displays inside fighter jets.

The real beauty of this tech is that car companies can give consumers the CHOICE of how/what they want to display--yes, even round gauges--for those troglodytes of society. MFG's can also use feedback on these displays to program better options/features for newer models--or even better, to offer firmware updates with more options for the existing ones.

P.S.
The LFA does render those gauges digitally--because analogue sucks donkey balls. And the only reason it uses round--I must infer--is because of such a staunch resistance to change.


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