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Apple Testing 'Touchless' Gestures for New iPhones and Weird Curved Displays

Apple is in the beginning stages of testing iPhones with curved displays as well as touchless gestures, according to a report form Bloomberg.

Credit: Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The touchless gestures would allow an iPhone to detect the proximity of a finger to a phone and perform a gesture without actually tapping the screen. Sources told the publication that it could be ready within two years, but Apple could choose not to go forward with the project.

While curved displays aren't exactly new, the screens Apple is testing "curve inward gradually from top to bottom," while Samsung's phones have displays that curve out at the sides. That would suggest that these are OLED displays, which are much more flexible than LCDs.

MORE: iPhone Rumors: What to Expect from Apple's Next Phones

Apple has innovated on the input front before. On the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, it introduced 3D Touch, which can detect how hard you're tapping the display. Those gestures never widely took off, though, and it's not a major feature in many apps. Samsung tried its Air Gestures in the Samsung Galaxy S4, but those haven't been touted in phones since.

According to the report, both features are in the "early research and development stage," and it's possible Apple could nix them completely. Other rumors for the next two years include the possibility of a folding iPhone, which analysts have suggested could be ready by 2020.

This year, it's rumored that Apple will offer iPhones in three sizes, all of which will share a similar design to the iPhone X.

Andrew E. Freedman is an editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.