Though we've seen recent moves to make the boring old rectangular LCD display panel a little more interesting by adding some curves, for the most part the screens of our consumer electronics retain a distinctly angular appearance. Sharp has now pulled back the curtain on something called the Free-Form Display, which can be produced in shapes that match the design application – such as a single instrument panel on a car's dashboard that includes the speedo and gauges.
The display prototype showcased today marries the company's IGZO technology with "proprietary circuit design" to allow for the creation of high resolution screens in different shapes and sizes. Sharp says that this is possible thanks to spreading the gate driver's function throughout the pixels of the display area, instead of having the circuit at the perimeter, allowing the bezel to be considerably reduced.
The 12.3-inch Free-Form Display prototype demonstrated by the company hints at potential automotive implementations, but the design canvas seems pretty much open to wearables, odd-shaped smartphones and tablets, and customized digital signage.
The next step for Sharp is to enter mass production, something it plans to do in the very near future.