Samsung Sound on Display OLED Panels Rumored For CES 2019 Debut

Samsung Galaxy Note 9
You might not realize this, but there are four kinds of plagues. Most people are familiar with the first three—bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic. In 2017, the Essential Phone introduced a fourth kind of plague called The Notch! It infected Apple before spreading to more Android devices and was starting to get out of control, but smartphone makers are starting to work on vaccines. Along those lines, Samsung may introduce a potential cure that it's calling "Sound on Display."

It's exactly like it sounds—the display itself emits sound. How so? Instead of leveraging external speakers, there is a piezoelectric speaker beneath the screen, which adheres to the display.

In a typical smartphone, the speaker consists of a diaphragm attached to a voice coil. The voice coil moves in a magnetic gap to vibrate the diaphragm up and down, which in turn forms sound waves that ping your eardrums.

Samsung's Sound on Display technology is different. The voice coil is connected to a piezoelectric body, which changes shape when exposed to electrical fields. This creates a vibration that is converted into sound.

Other smartphone makers have toyed around with this kind of setup, notably Vivo and Xiaomi. It's all in an effort to eliminate areas that might otherwise require a bezel. According to Korean news outlet ETNews, Samsung may show off its Sound on Display technology at the Consumer Electronics Show next month.

One thing that's interesting to note here is that this is being developed by Samsung Display, not Samsung Mobile. That means we could see Sound on Display implemented in handsets from other companies, and not just Samsung's own devices.