LG Unveils A TV That You Can Literally Roll Up Like A Piece Of Paper

The display tech company comes out with two new 18-inch television panels, one extremely bendy and another virtually transparent.

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Imagine the scene:

You're about to move house and you've got a gigantic 110-inch TV to carefully ferry across town to your new home, so you just roll it up like a poster and shove it into the back of your van!

According to LG, this could be a reality by 2017.

The screens are so flexible, each can be rolled up tightly to a radius of just 1.2 inches without affecting the display at all

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The Korean electronics manufacturer unveiled a new kind of big-screen display that is ultra-thin and rolls up, and it expects to put the tech into TVs by 2017.

While flexible displays have been around for years, LG Display has taken the concept up a couple of notches with these two new 18-inch OLED panels, each with 1,200 x 800 resolution

LG’s display division yesterday announced two new types of panels, a rollable 18-inch OLED panel and an 18-inch transparent OLED panel. LG claims that the rollable display has a resolution of 1200 x 810, with almost 1 million mega-pixels. The panel can also be rolled up to a radius of 3cm without affecting the quality of the display.

The OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology used in the LG display screens is apparently thinner, lighter, and more flexible than conventional LCDs. And, besides being unbreakable, bendable displays can easily curve to walls or compartments.

Today, big-screen TVs are often shipped via cargo services since they're too big to be delivered affordably by regular mail

LG Display unveiled an 18-inch flexible OLED screen that can be rollup up to a radius of 1.2 inches.

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A roll-up set could have a tremendous impact on TV shipping and storage. Flexible TVs could be delivered in tubes.

One of the displays is even transparent. Again, this isn't the first transparent screen, but LG says it's achieved an impressive 30% transmittance, which is a step up from the 10% transmittance of previous transparent screens based on LCD tech.

This 18-inch OLED panel from LG Display is both flexible and transparent. It has 30% transmittance, a big improvement over the 10% transmittance of current LCD tech, LG says.

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The new transparent OLED panel is said to have a 30 percent transmittance, or clarity, which is far more than the usual 10 percent transmittance of existing transparent LCD panels, according to LG. The company also said it has significantly lowered the amount of haze in the panel.

That means users will be able to see objects behind the display more clearly, which could be useful in some situations.

LG says that it achieved this by adopting the company’s transparent pixel design technology and incorporating it into the new display.

LG hopes that it will be able to combine the two new technologies and launch a TV that's both rollable and transparent by 2017

Byung Kang, senior vice president of LG, said “ 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% and a curvature radius of 100R”.

However, head of corporate PR, Jean Lee told me that more work needs to be done before the product can be commercialised: “We expect that it should take time to see the products in market because all related components should also be fully ready.”

LG isn't the only company working on transparent and bendable displays. Samsung, Nokia, and even Apple have been working on flexible smartphone and tablet screens for years now.

But LG has been on the forefront of cutting-edge panel development. LG was able to build the bodacious bendy displays by using a polymer as the backplane of the panel instead of conventional plastic. The polymer both increased the flexibility of the OLED panel and reduced its thickness.

It debuted a flexible smartphone, the G Flex, earlier this year and unveiled a 77-inch flexible OLED TV during the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Last month, Nokia demoed its high-resolution "book-type" and "three-fold" displays that can be folded within a 2mm radius, but also max-out at 100,000 folds