Apple is reportedly working on some certain brand new designs for future iPhones including curved screens and touchless controls.

The tech giant is said to be developing these projects that may help the company distinguish its most important product in an increasingly crowded market, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Touchless and Curved

The touchless control feature would let iPhone users perform some tasks by moving their finger close to the screen without actually tapping it. The technology won’t likely be ready for users and consumers for at least two years if Apple chooses to go forward with it.

Apple is also said to be developing iPhone displays that curve inward gradually from top to bottom. That’s different than the latest Samsung smartphone screens, which curve down at the edges. 

So far, every iPhone model has used a flat display. The iPhone X’s OLED screen curves slightly at the bottom, but the shape is mostly invisible to the human eye.

Apple has long embraced new ways for humans to interact with computers. Co-Founder Steve Jobs popularized the mouse in the early 1980s.

Apple’s latest iPhones have a feature called 3D Touch that responds differently depending on different finger pressures. The new gesture technology would take into account the proximity of a finger to the screen, the person said.


Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED)

OLED, or organic light emitting diode, displays can be shaped into curves or even folded, unlike the less-flexible LCD screen technology used in prior iPhones. A curved iPhone may be as little as two to three years away, the person said. Apple is also working on new screen technology, known as MicroLED, but that’s at least three to five years away, according to a report.

The work comes as the Cupertino, California-based smartphone pioneer looks to make its gadgets stand out. Smartphones have become increasingly similar as Apple, Samsung Electronics Co., Google, and Huawei Technologies Co. adopt features like full screens, advanced cameras, and facial recognition at roughly the same time.

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