Sharp's Way of Reshaping Television

A radical rethinking of its design approach led Sharp down the path of innovation

Makoto Ishida for TIME

Members of the SHARP Design team.

When Sharp Corp. wowed the world with its flat-screen liquid-crystal-display (LCD) television in 2001, it wasn't just a technological breakthrough. It was a step away from the box. "For the first time ever, television gave way to design," says Michio Ogawa, a senior member of the design team that created Sharp's pioneering Aquos line. "Flat panels turned the television from an eyesore when it's not turned on to an interior-design fashion statement."

LCD technology has always been Sharp's strength. It was the first company to mass-produce the LCD calculator, and has been a leader in displays for gadgets like cell phones, camcorders...

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