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The Future of Touchscreens

Every day smartphones become more and more advanced, increasing in processing power, screen resolution and battery life as they shrink in size, making them one of the most powerful consumer gadgets of the 21st century so far.

Touchscreens are certainly the future of smartphones. A recent survey carried out by ARCchart, a specialist firm in the research of consumer technology; found that by 2012 almost 40 percent of all mobile phones will use either a touchscreen or a touchpanel. The market leading smartphone, the Apple iPhone, famously boasts an advanced touchscreen which is highly intuitive and capable of detecting and interpreting several contact points at once.

The incredible touchscreens dreamed of in science fiction movies could soon be a reality, with the arrival of bendable smartphones equipped with OLED technology. OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology uses a LED containing a layer of electroluminscent film fixed between two electrodes. This layer is comprised of a carbon-based organic substance that gives out light when an electric current is applied to it. Every pixel in an OLED display is a tiny LED. The science is complex, but the bottom line is that an OLED screen does not need to be backlit, so it renders levels of black more deeply, supports a higher contrast ratio, and is lighter and thinner than LCD screens. OLED screens are also more energy efficient and long-lasting than other kinds of display technology. An OLED TV is brighter, much thinner (some prototypes are just 0.3mm in thickness) and draw less power than LCD/Plasma screens, as well as offering higher refresh rates and levels of contrast, for a richer and more dynamic picture. OLED technology is also becoming widespread in consumer gadgets like smartphones, digital media devices, and digital cameras.

At the recent Nokia World Conference 2011 held in London, Nokia caused a stir with the first demo of its prototype smartphone, named ‘Kinetic’ – called by Nokia the world’s first bendable smartphone, touted for release in late 2012. According to reports from those who got their hands on this groundbreaking device, this flexibility not only increases the phone’s durability and damage-resistance, but might also serve as a means of controlling its functions. Bending the phone at the middle or edges could be used to zoom in and out on media, images and websites, or to help you navigate menus and lists. Bending the upper corner provides the user with menu options to select. The bendable screen is also shock- and water-resistant.

However, at the same time rival smartphone company Samsung upped its game in the smartphone market by announcing the 2012 release of a bendable smartphone using Super AMOLED technology. Images of the Samsung Galaxy Skin have caused a storm on the web, showing an innovative ultra-thin and lightweight OLED phone that is durable yet bendable. It uses a substance called graphene in its screen, claimed to be the incredible material that will make bendable displays possible. Recently, Samsung’s research and development division produced a paper showing an AMOLED display with one part that could be bent over completely without the display snapping. The company demonstrated flexible AMOLED screens that are just 4.5 inches wide and 0.3 mm deep at the start of 2011. Other possible bendable devices such as tablet computers, laptops and e-readers have also been discussed. It seems clear that the future of smartphones will continue to push the limits of consumer technology in the years to come.

When these devices finally arrive, they will revolutionise the challenging and constantly changing smartphone market, forcing the market-leader, Apple, to respond with a technology that is equally futuristic and exciting.

Author  Bio:- Victor Daily is a blogger interested in technology and social media. Besides writing about latest news in these areas he also works as a consultant for an oled info website.

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