Samsung's Dangerous Curves

Samsung's bendable TV shows off the curved screen's advantage.

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Last night at Samsung's glamorous First Look Event, the theme of the evening was curvature. Display-hungry journalists were greeted with curved champagne glasses, curved sofas, and curved curtains hiding Samsung's lineup of curved UHD TVs.

Among the biggest surprise: Samsung's 85-inch bendable LED TV. The huge display was neither flat nor curved—it was both. The entire panel structure (and the bezels, too) can bend back and forth between both states with the use of embedded electrical motors. The effect was slight—almost too small notice as it was happening.

Don't expect a price, model number, or ship date here. This is strictly a proof-of-concept. The concept, though, may not be readily apparent to all.

I spoke extensively with Samsung's QA Engineer David Jung concerning the company's recent obsession with curvature. He explained the science behind Samsung's curved TVs. (Warning: math ahead). The concept TV has a slope of 4200R, or the curve of a circle with a radius of 4.2 meters. This exact curve, according to Jung, puts all parts of the screen equidistant from a viewer's eye.

Yet the 85-inch bendable TV's true purpose appears to be it's ability to provide a live, side-by-side comparison of picture quality on a flat and a curved screen. I stood a couple of yards from the TV and slowly transformed it, watching the curve appear and disappear—after a few minutes, I was a believer.

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