Video: Curvy touchscreens becoming a reality
A company called Atmel is pioneering what could be a revolution in mobile displays.
The company has created a new technology called XSense, which is an incredibly thin film-based touch sensor that can actually be curved and manipulated in ways never before used in a commercial device.
Atmel is not one of the sexiest or most well-known firms in the world of mobile technology, but it does have an important role in some of the most popular devices on the market today, like Samsung's Galaxy Note phone and Galaxy Tab tablet.
This latest creation will, for example, allow manufacturers to create smartphones that have no edge; the entire device will be touch-enabled. Or it could create curved phones that don't conform to the traditional "candy bar" profiles.
Flexible display technology has roots dating back several years. It's been a conceptual thing of the future that has never seemed to really get the jolt that could put it to the mainstream.
We're getting to a point now where the specs inside a mobile phone are becoming less relevant. That is to say, once you start putting in quad-core processors and cameras that have megapixels in the dozens, there isn't much further to go.
So to truly continue to expand the imagination of smartphone makers, there needs to be an innovation that blasts away the traditional mold. This kind of technology could do that.
Then again, it could crash and burn. After all, just a few years ago the idea of a phone that could play 3D movies without the need for glasses would have sounded pretty cool, but the Evo 3D and the Optimus 3D fizzled out quickly. So there's no way of knowing if flexible display technology will be the next big thing, but there's no doubt that it's a cool idea to try.