Earlier this month LG unveiled the first in a new generation of large-format flexible and transparent displays that could one day turn gadgets we now see in sci-fi movies into reality.
We only got to see the new panels in still shots at the time, but now we can get a better look at the new tech from these two short videos.
The video above shows LG Display’s 18-inch polyamide-based rollable display with a curvature radius of 30R. In practice, that means you can bend the panel back and forth without damaging it, but we’re still a few years away from panels you can roll up like a sheet of paper and carry in a tube. Also, the current model is just 1200 x 810, a resolution that is in no way suitable for commercialization. But LG Display is confident it can iron out the technical kinks and bring a 60-inch panel of 4K resolution that can be rolled up in a 3 centimeters tube by 2017.
The second video is a demo of a semi-transparent LG Display panel with a transmittance rate of 30 percent. That may not sound like a lot, but current semi-transparent panels typically have 10 percent transmittance rate. In three years, LG hopes to reach a transmittance rate of 40 percent.
Rollable electronics could open the way for a new world of electronics design. For instance, Samsung showed concepts of smartphones with built-in tablet panels that roll out of the sides and tablets that fold like books. That’s barely scratching the surface though, and once the tech becomes good enough and cheap enough for the mass market, designers will surely come up with products that today seem outlandish.
The benefits of semi-transparent panels are less obvious when it comes to mobile devices. But there are many potential applications in other fields, from TVs that disappear into the wall when they are turned off, to car windscreens that display navigation directions, to bathroom mirrors that show your agenda for the day.