SAMSUNG’S next smartphone could have a screen that lets you hear phone calls by vibrating against your skull.
It sounds wacky but the bone conduction technology already exists – and could revolutionise smartphone design forever.
Samsung wants to get rid of the bezel, the bit of plastic that borders its phone screens
Right now, phone companies are desperately trying to fill the front of their handsets with screen.
But the speaker is getting in the way: that’s why Apple’s £999 iPhone X has a “notch” at the top, to house a speaker for phone calls.
Samsung’s hope is that by making a “sound emitting” screen, it would be possible to get rid of the phone call speaker entirely.
Then, you could put music speakers on the bottom of the phone, and simply rely on a bone-conduction display for your phone calls.
Alamy The iPhone X has a nearly-all-screen front, but the speaker and camera forced a notched design at the top
Samsung already showed off a 6.2-inch prototype version of this – dubbed the “Sound Display” at the recent 2018 Display Week exhibition.
Now local news site ETNews reports that Samsung is teaming up fellow Korean phone maker LG to make working phone screens that use this tech.
The screens would use bone conduction technology, vibrating gently to create noise.
But you’d only hear the noise when you press your ear up against the display, because the vibrations need to impact your skull.
This technology actually already exists (and is fairly common) in headphones.
Amazon / AfterShokz The AfterShokz Trekz headphones, which sit outside the ear and play music using bone conduction
You can buy bone conduction headphones that vibrate your skull, sitting near – but not inside – your ear.
This makes them a great choice for cyclists, who want to listen to music but can’t afford to block out ambient noise – like nearby vehicles.
For instance, you can bag a pair of AfterShokz Trekz for £93.90 on Amazon right now.