We're getting closer and closer to futuristic Star Trek-like displays every day and we've now taken a big leap with the new transparent, rollable screen from LG. With near-endless applications it will be interesting to see where this technology ends up and how soon.
LG Display has succeeded in developing a rollable, transparent panel.
The product is a variant of display panels based on organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology.
The 18-inch OLED display has a very clear picture image resolution of 1200-by-810 pixels and LG said it could manufacture TVs with this type of display in sizes up to 50 inches in the near future.
The latest achievement is a result of collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), which identified the display industry as one of the country's new growth engines.
Led by LG Display, local universities and research institutes are working on developing next-generation displays. LG said it aims to develop transparent and rollable displays at sizes over 60-inches by 2017, spokesman Hyun Dong-hoon said in a statement.
"A decade ago, seeing rollable and transparent displays just seemed like a distant dream; however, they are now becoming available for households," said the spokesman.
This is an actual image of a 18-inch rollable OLED display developed by LG Display, the world's top LCD supplier, Thursday. / Courtesy of LG Display
LG said the rollable display doesn't affect its performance at all and stressed the development is highlighted with 30 percent transmittance ― a significant improvement over previous ones which only reach around 10 percent.
The display could also have up to one million megapixels and could be rolled up to a diameter of three centimeters, according to LG.
Although this is more like a technical achievement, the result means that consumer electronic gadgets from smartphones, TVs to tablets no longer need to stay straight as polyimide film ― a key material for thinner displays ― will be widely used in expanded rollable displays, said Hyun.
"LG Display is far ahead of rivals in the race for applied OLED displays. There are many challenging issues that need to be addressed before mass production, but we are confident we will lead the market," said Kang In-byung, head of LG Display's technology center in the statement.
While its chief rival Samsung has remained passive on large-sized OLED displays, LG has been investing heavily in big panels, which are brighter than conventional LCD displays, to diversify its business portfolio.