LG gets flexible with 18-inch OLED display that can roll up like a yoga mat


Already offering a curved, flexible smartphone, the G Flex, LG says it has developed an 18-inch display that can be rolled into cylinder form -- and it's transparent, too.

A substantial step to big-screen, roll-up televisions, LG's 18-inch display was said to employ polyimide plastic to give it its flexibility. The 18-inch outputs a pixel resolution of 1200 x 810, which it can reportedly still deliver when rolled up.

While the resolution of its 18-inch model sits around the 720p HD mark, Byung Kang, senior VP of LG, said he expected the size and quality of the roll-up display to increase drastically in a few years.

"We are confident that by 2017 we will successfully develop an Ultra HD flexible and transparent OLED panel of more than 60 inches, which will have transmittance of more than 40 percent and a curvature radius of 100R," said Kang.

In addition to being able to fit into large purses and messenger bags, the flexible display is also transparent. It allows a light transmittance of roughly 30 percent, while other transparent displays have only reached about a 10 percent admittance of light so far -- like other displays that use "invisible pixels," LG's display is only transparent when it's not powered on.

LG also said it hopes to push transparent displays forward, and not just the ones that will be able to be rolled up and stowed in a yoga bag. The transparent nature of the 18-inch roll up was said to enable users to view images from both the front and back of the display.

It doesn't take a lot of imagination to see how transparent displays will quickly find a place in homes and offices, as they can fade into the decor when powered off and could double the viewing angles of traditional monitors and televisions. LG reportedly said consumers would have to figure out how to get the most use out of the companies roll-up televisions and smartphones.

For one, a rollable build would make moving a big screen a lot less of a chore. Owners could easily transport the rollable televisions on a move across town or across the room during a Sunday session of furniture shifting. Owners could also take rollable big screens with them on vacation, keeping up with their favorite shows during downtime.

With big-screen roll ups still a few years off, LG has been pushing its curved television. In June of 2014, LG showed off a 77-inch, curved display that delivered 4K resolution via OLED technology.

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