Earlier today, TechCrunch shared with us some images that could possibly be Samsung’s smartphone with a curved screen. I believe it’s a really unique looking device, whether or not its real. These images make me want to hold the device in real life, just to get a true sense of what it even really looks like. Such a unique looking device though presents some pretty unique problems.
Ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you I can be pretty clumsy, especially when it involves my phone. Obviously this phone is curved. I immediately think of how easily my iPhone slides off a table if I accidentally knock it or hit the table. When a curved display is laying flat on it’s back (the curved end), the amount of table the phone actually touches is most likely smaller than a flat device. I can imagine this makes the phone more likely to fall or slide off a table easily.
What would a curved display really look like? How would square Instagram videos and widescreen Youtube videos look? Could the curvature of the display skew the images or video? It is likely that the creators of a device like this would keep these things in mind, but one can only wonder if they can get it right on their first try.
Swiping is one of the most common gestures among touch screen devices today. A flat screen is exactly that. Flat. It has no obstruction, no odd angles, and swiping is done in two dimensions more or less. A curved touchscreen now brings a 3rd ‘axis’ more or less. No longer do you only move on X or Y axis, but now your thumb will dip into the curve of the display as you swipe left to right to archive that email.
I’m Not Bashing Curved Displays
I think curved displays will be a refreshing take on the devices we currently use. I don’t feel like curved displays are a bad thing – I simply wonder what new problems it can bring interface designers and everyday users, if truly any.