Sometimes it can be helpful to make a snap judgment on a particular innovation, just to keep from getting overwhelmed in today’s tech frenzy. For me, it was the curved screen that earned my instant skepticism.

But I didn’t see the urgency; the flat screen still felt modern, delivered a wonderful picture, and the joy of extra space gained from tossing the old box was still reasonably fresh in my mind. The curved screen struck me more as innovation for innovation’s sake, an upgrade designed for the upgrade-obsessed (*cough* pin-hole cameras), and left me pondering if it was possible to run out of great ideas.

This modern innovation went beyond mobile phones, so I decided to start with large screens. When it came to curved televisions, it was easy to see that I wasn’t alone in my skepticism. A multitude of expert reviews opined on the “immersive” curved television display as a farse, while others pointed out that the curve could compromise viewing from certain angles.

So my initial doubts about the curve seemed validated where TVs were concerned. Monitors, however, were a different story. The “immersive” benefits of curved screens fared better in the one-person-per-screen scenario, where you were less likely to be sitting off to the side while playing games and streaming.  Further, the natural presentation and field of view supplied by these devices reduce neck and eye strain, so there would be productivity benefits for the business environment as well. Though both points make sense to me, as someone who is attached to a screen for the better part of the day, the thought of a screen curving in closer struck me as horror movie material.

That led me back to mobile devices. Despite the buzz, curved mobile phones aren’t that common.

The curved body also performed better in the pocket, because it aligned better with the curve of the human form. The Edge had a different approach, with the display wrapping around the sides of the device. My first take was that the Edge chose style over function, but then I discovered that the extra real estate served a few functions beyond aesthetics, including a colored light indicator that could tell you who is calling when the phone is face down.

At this point, I had reached the limits of online product research. The claim of the curve went beyond specs, so I brought my skepticism to in-store, imagining the satisfaction of telling the salesman that I was only doing research—I wasn’t someone who was taken in by innovation for innovation’s sake. Except that, when I reached the curved-screen TVs and stood in front of their promotional solar system graphics, I couldn’t help myself: I nodded my head and my lips formed the word, “Amazing”.

I was getting sucked in. By the time I reached the mobile section and plucked the Samsung Edge from its display podium, it struck me as mobile’s equivalent of an infinity pool.

And this is where the aforementioned snap judgments come in handy. There is, simply, an incredible range of products to pine over today but, if you decide out of the gate that a particular innovation is a gimmick, it’s a lot easier to avoid that whispering want. As of the writing of this article, I have not yet given into the ‘gimmick’, and my television is still flat.

But, I confess, I do see the appeal for the curved screen. Features and functions aside, its real strength is that it is a delight to view. And while “delight” doesn’t necessarily translate to urgency, that ever-important factor needed to drive up sales right this minute, something exactly what you want from a device designed to be viewed.

The author's views are personal only.

Author Information
Author: Saksham Gupta
B.A.(LL.B) IX Semester, National Law University Jodhpur

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