If you’re a product development geek, then you’ll know that the “classic” way of innovating is to start with consumer insight, define some functional and emotional needs, and build opportunity platforms from which great products emerge. Chocolate bars, chicken nuggets, cars and crisps – it tends to be a similar process.
The same is true in consumer electronics. Right now, hoards of researchers are in homes around the world, figuring out the future widgets you’ll be compelled to spend your money on. But once in a while, away from any consumer insight, a slab of technology pops out of the R&D lab that the marketers feel compelled to launch. The latest of these? Curved OLED screens.
LG and Samsung are racing to market with devices that take advantage of new curved displays. A few months ago, we saw the launch of OLED TVs with curved screens - yours for just £5500 in the case of Samsung’s 55″ 1080p OLED 3D Smart TV.
At the other end of the spectrum, Samsung have also announced a limited (Korea only for now) launch of the Samsung Galaxy Round – a concave handset boasting a 5.7-inch AMOLED screen.
Whilst in the hand, the form factor may be more ergonomic, the curved display also offers Samsung’s lab teams to dream up even more features than you see packed into the Samsung Galaxy S4, for example. According to the Korean giant, Galaxy Round owners will benefit from being able to check the date, time, missed calls and battery easily when home screen is off by simply tilting the phone, courtesy of a feature called Roll Effect.
Similarly a feature called Bounce UX turns the handset into a giant rocker switch, allowing you to change music tracks with a title left or right. And surely, a Pinball game can’t be too far away….
So, with round being the new flat, the only question is whether curved displays take your fancy. Can you see yourself running out to pick up a new curved TV or phone? Must have feature or one best left in the lab? Let me know your thoughts…