Samsung’s Galaxy Round and LG’s G Flex are two smartphones “of the future.” Both show some sort of curved design, but have yet to go the way that we all would like to see them go: the path of the fully flexible display.
And yet, this isn’t stopping Korean manufacturer LG Electronics from continuing its research into flexible OLED displays. The company announced today that it’s created an 18-inch flexible OLED display along with an 18-inch transparent OLED display. The 18-inch flexible OLED display is rollable, meaning that, yes, rollable TVs lie ahead for TV customers. TVs have certainly turned thinner in recent days, and the new “rollable” form factor means that your TV would become mobile in a way that it isn’t currently.
The flexible OLED display has a radius of 30R (meaning you can roll it to 3cm and not harm the display function) and a screen resolution of 1200 x 810 (1 million pixels), making the current 18-inch prototype close to HD status. The secret to the flexible OLED’s “rollable status” has to do with LG’s replacement of typical plastic (POLED) with polyimide film.
The transparent OLED TV prototype has 30 percent light transmittance, as opposed to current 10% transmittance levels on LCD TV screens. Since it is OLED, LG’s working on building TV models that can emit more light than ever before. Within a few years, your OLED TV could emit enough light to allow you to “keep the lights off” while watching your favorite movie. OLED does seem to be more advanced technology than LCD, and LG’s commitment to OLED shows that the company’s thinking beyond its current LCD screen lineup (at least for TV panels, anyway).
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As for a timeframe in the market, LG R&D Head and Senior Vice President In-Bying Huang says 2017: “LG Display pioneered the OLED TV market and is now leading the next-generation applied OLED technology. We’re confident that by 2017, we will successfully develop an Ultra HD flexible and transparent OLED panel of more than 60 inches, which will’ve transmittance of more than 40 percent and a curvature radius of 100R, thereby leading the future display market.”
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LG’s goal that was stated back in January now has two prototypes that’ll go towards fulfilling its long-term dream.
Could you see yourself buying a rollable TV some time in the future? Would you like to be able to better carry a more mobile TV experience that’d provide a screen that surpasses that of your current smartphone and tablet collection?