LG unveils high-resolution display that can stretch up to 20%
Future wearables could feature stretchable displaysBy Shawn Knight
In a nutshell: LG Display has unveiled what it is calling the world's first 12-inch high-resolution stretchable display. The tech, fitting called the Stretchable display, is based on a highly resilient film-type substrate comprised of the same silicon that is used in contact lenses. The 12-inch display boasts full-color RGB, a resolution of 100 PPI, and exhibits rubber band-like flexibility that allows it to be stretched up to 14 inches.
The free-form tech can be twisted and folded without distortion or damage, and is said to be more resilient than existing foldable and rollable display tech. MicroLEDs with a pixel pitch of less than 40μm serve as the light source and enhance durability, as does a flexible spring-like wiring structure.
LG's Stretchable display is the result of a large-scale R&D effort commissioned by South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) in 2020. The goal of the project is to enhance the country's competitiveness in next-gen display tech, and LG vowed to see it through to completion.
LG said the thin and lightweight design offers "next-level" versatility for a plethora of daily scenarios. For example, a panel could easily be attached to curved surfaces like skin, furniture, clothing, aircraft and automobiles.
That said, it could be a while still before something like this reaches commercial availability - not because the tech is not feasible, but more for practicality purposes. While incredibly neat, I am struggling to come up with any real-world applications where this would be better than existing solutions.
What problem does it solve? What need does it meet? Heck, you could still argue that existing foldable and bendable displays are mostly a novelty. Maybe we will eventually land on valid use cases but right now, it is a tech that is lacking a purpose.
Samsung is also working on stretchable display technology but from what we've seen thus far, they are more interested in using the tech for 3D-style televisions.
Can you think of any practical uses for LG's Stretchable display?