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LG’s new thin and stretchable displays could be used to wrap skin, cars, and furniture

LG Display has announced that it has created the world’s first stretchable display that can be deformed by up to 20% of its original size and shape without suffering any damage. The ultrathin material looks similar to OLED-based flexible displays we’ve seen from LG Display in the past, but the company says it has gone with micro-LED technology for this new stretchable version.

A woman bends and folds LG Display's stretchable display.
LG Display

It’s a full-color, 12-inch RGB panel that has a claimed pixel density of 100 pixels per inch (ppi). LG Display says that’s a resolution that competes with most existing monitors, but the company appears to have a different target use for the stretchable material. “Alongside its thin, lightweight design, the Stretchable display’s revolutionary technology offers next-level versatility for various daily scenarios,” the company said in a press release. The display is “easily attachable to curved surfaces such as skin, clothing, furniture, automobiles and aircraft.”

The micro-LED structure is also apparently quite rugged. “Unlike the conventional linear wired system, the Stretchable display’s flexible S-form spring-wired system’s optimal structure can endure repetitive changes to its form, assuring consumers of its incredible durability and reliability.” The company claims the displays will be able to withstand “significant external impacts.”

LG Display's stretchable display being demonstrated.
LG Display

It’s not the first time a company has created a stretchable display. Samsung announced that it had created an OLED-based 9.1-inch stretchable prototype in 2017, though we have yet to see Samsung’s technology appear in any devices that average buyers can get their hands on.

LG’s display technology division, LG Display, creates many of the new technologies that ultimately end up in products we can buy from companies like LG Electronics, Sony, and Vizio. Its standard OLED panels are already being used by many of these manufacturers. So far, there seems to be limited interest in LG Display’s more exotic technologies, like rollable OLED. Only LG Electronics itself has brought a rollable OLED TV to market, but it’s prohibitively expensive at $90,000.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
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