Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Apple reportedly developing gesture controls, curved screens for iPhones ars_ab.settitle(1287905)

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Earlier this week, a report from Bloomberg claimed that Apple is considering future iPhone models with "hover" gestures and curved screens.

And in what could arguably be the most significant tidbit so far, a report says that the company is working on a curved screen and touchless controls.

What use this sort of design provides is unclear, though iDrop News does note that the device is narrower than the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. The so-called "keypad screen" is hidden when the device is fully compressed.

Apple's move to develop these new technologies is to accelerate the iPhone's innovation in the smartphone market as competition heats up.

The feature shares similarities with the Air Gestures capability that Samsung Electronics Co. However, the technology is at least two years away from entering mainstream production, given Apple decides to proceed with it. Specifically, a Bloomberg report from earlier in the week claims that Apple has been prototyping a curved iPhone model created to stand out in a smartphone market where devices are becoming harder and harder to tell apart. Although some might argue that this is nothing new - read Google's Project Soli - Apple actually patented a touchless gesture control in 2013 to "to create and manipulate 3D objects using gestures made above a touchscreen's surface."

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The idea is that the display curves inward gradually from the top to the bottom.

Apple did not immediately respond to Geek's request for comment. The proximity of fingers to the screen will be taken into account for this new gesture technology. This is not the first time someone has worked on curved screens and touchless controls. This feature used a motion sensor on the phone's bezel instead of being built into the display. It is however said to enable brighter yet thinner and less power-hungry displays, which would explain things like Apple's LuxVue takeover in 2014 and the establishment of a secret facility for the technology just 15 minutes from Apple Park in Cupertino.

The design may reverberate the "ZTE Axon M" of 2017, a dual-screen smart handset, which folds out into a bigger screen. Besides what has been mentioned above, a separate report from Bloomberg last month revealed that Apple is also working on microLED screens in a secret manufacturing facility near California.

Loyal Apple customers have always a vested interest in the upgrades, be it software or hardware; this has driven Apple to innovate and experiment unceasingly.

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