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No matter how shiny and slim your new smartphone is, no matter how high-definition a display it has, it’s still very much a slab of plastic and metal with a screen sitting in the middle. But what if your phone’s screen could wrap around the sides? Imagine if the edges of your tablet computer could also be used as a touch screen, removing the need for physical buttons entirely. Or how about a wrist watch whose strap could also function as a display?

Imagine no more: Japan’s SEL is already producing that very technology, and it’s positively droolworthy.

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Japanese semicondutor manufacturer SEL recently exhibited its newest series of flexible OLED and LCD panels, and tech experts Diginfo were there to snap “the only technology that can display a picture on curved edges” in action, and it’s preeetty.

Using “CAAC-OS” technology, the company has managed to produce flexible, shatter-resistant displays that quite literally wrap around the edges of devices. That already long cluster of letters that make up this technology’s name is actually short for “C-Axis Aligned Crystal Oxide Semiconductors”. What that means to you and me is that thanks to the way the way their innards are arranged, displays can now be made to curve while still maintaining the image quality and durability of the shiny smartphone screens we know and love. It also means that icons get to wrap around the edge of the screen and our favourite pocket devices could one day look like little slabs of pictures and light with no bezel around the screen whatsoever.

▼ Curvy screens. Swoon.

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The technology also allows for larger, ultra-light TFT displays to be made with noticeable curves. Doesn’t sound quite so impressive? The screen pictured below – the world’s largest OLED at 13.5 inches – display images in 4k ultra-high definition while weighing a mere 10g (for comparison an iPhone 5S weighs 112g) and is barely 100 microns thick (1 micron = .001 of a millimetre, or .000039 inches).

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But the flexible fun doesn’t end there! SEL has also produced bendable batteries, meaning that from now on our digital devices will not necessarily have to have straight edges or an area thick and flat enough for a portable power source to fit into. Whatever the design, a paper-thin battery can be laid onto it, bent and flexed hundreds of thousands of times and still perform like new.

Smartwatches and navi-enabled wristbands, anyone?

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We’ll leave you with Diginfo’s in-depth look at the exciting new technology. If you’re a gadget lover, you might want to tuck a handkerchief into your shirt to catch the drool.

The future can’t come fast enough as far as we’re concerned.

Source: Diginfo TV Japan SEL
Video/images: Diginfo TV