Curved displays seems to be the craze right now and even more so, after Samsung set the tone with the Galaxy Note edge. But even though curved display panels definitely sound like a formidable technical challenge and undoubtedly involve a complicated and most-importantly, expensive production process.
Chinese manufacturer Oppo might have found a better way to create a true edge-to edge display experience, as evident by a new patent, sent to us by an anonymous tipster. From what we managed to make out from the description, the new technology involves covering a traditional rectangular display module with what the company calls a panel with "special light guide structure". Now, just to be clear, this does not translate to a bezelless screen, but rather to one with a very slimmed-down side bezels.
The included schematic further clarifies this. It appears a special curve at the end of the said transparent overlay diffracts light from the panel in such a way, that it is essentially projected on it, extending beyond the actual display unit. This allows for the bezel of the display module to remain hidden, making it essentially invisible, without having to alter current manufacturing processes.
This could be the key to a future display revolution, as such a technology could allow manufacturers to bring that trendy, awe-inspiring edge-to-edge screen experience on a budget, with a more or less traditional display unit under the hood.
Now, the chart does not detail how much extra screen real estate it is going to deliver and whether or not there will be some magnification or distortion of the image nor does it explain how scalable this new technology is and what its limitations are, but it certainly gives us a peek behind the curtains of Oppo's R&D labs.
The patent has already been filed on December 19 2014 in China and the documentation we're referring to should be available online within three to six months, depending on how the process goes, so we can expect Oppo to take advantage of the patent after that.