The future of foldable smartphones is exciting for sure. But stretchable displays are going to go beyond just our phones. Earlier this week, LG Display, one of the world’s leading innovators of display technologies, unveiled the world’s first 12-inch high-resolution stretchable display.
The display is equipped with an outstanding free-form technology that enables it to be extended, folded, and twisted without distortion or damage. This stretchable display is also the industry’s first to achieve 20 percent stretchability, a resolution of 100ppi, and full-color RGB. According to an LG Display news release, the display’s high flexibility, durability, and reliability maximize its potential for commercialization.
The display is based on a highly resilient film-type substrate made of special silicon used in contact lenses. Interestingly, according to LG Display, the display has almost a rubber band-like flexibility that allows it to be stretched up to 14 inches. The display’s free-form nature offers a cutting-edge solution surpassing the existing foldable and rollable technology, the news release adds.
In addition, the stretchable display uses a micro-LED light source with a pixel pitch of less than 40μm, securing a high level of durability to withstand significant external impacts as well as a resolution that competes with most existing monitors. “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 release explains.
The possibilities of this display being put to commercial use are immense. Its thin, lightweight design offers it a level of versatility that is perfect for different daily scenarios. In the future, the display could easily be attached to curved surfaces such as skin, clothing, furniture, automobiles and aircraft. The stretchable display could also have potential use cases in many industries, including fashion, wearables, mobility and gaming.
While Samsung has been at the forefront of foldable smartphones so far, there seems to be growing interest in the segment from other phone makers too. According to a recent report in GSM Arena, Samsung MX, the company's mobile communications business, expects Apple to release its first foldable device in 2024. There's no clarity, however, if the said device would be a laptop or a mobile phone.
According to multiple reports, Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer Oppo is also in line to unveil a successor to its first flagship foldable smartphone, the Oppo Find N, later this year.