Apple has long term plans in the works for future iPhone models that include touchless gesture control and curved screens, according to a new report from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg. Citing people with knowledge of the matter, the report notes that the new features are part of projects that are already in the works at Apple for possible implementation the next two to three years, and would be ways of helping the iPhone stand out more in the crowded smartphone market. Touchless control would be a UI enhancement that would let users perform some tasks simply by placing their finger close to the screen without actually tapping it, representing an entirely new way to interact with the iPhone, responding based on proximity of a finger to the screen in much the same way that 3D Touch responds to finger pressure.
Sources also indicated that Apple is actively developing iPhone displays that have a gradual inward curve from top to bottom, taking advantage of OLED technology that has long allowed displays to be curved or even folded. Both features are still in the very early research and development stage at Apple, so it’s entirely possible that the company may not go forward with the enhancements, but it appears to be something that is under active consideration and testing. Various other recent reports have already suggested Apple will be making a stronger push into OLED technology across almost all of its iPhone lineup possibly as early as this year, although LCD displays may still be used for lower-cost models, at least in the short-term.