In an industry first, LG has created a 12-inch high-resolution stretchable display equipped with free-form technology enabling the screen to extend, fold and twist without distortion or damage. Boasting a benchmark-setting 20 per cent stretchability, a resolution of 100ppi (pixels per inch) and full-colour RGB, LG is marketing the commercialisation potential of its stretchy display, paving the way for wearable advertising. Coming off the back of the World’s First Foldable MicroLED TV from Austrian audio-visual pioneers C SEED and LG’s “Bendable” Gaming Monitor, the foldable revolution is now stretchable.
According to the brand, LG Electronics uses a highly resilient film-type substrate made of special silicon based on the same material used for contact lenses to make the stretchable display a reality. Because of this, the 12-inch display can extend to 14 inches thanks to its “rubber band-like flexibility”. In a press release, LG sent a message to other foldable and rollable displays on the market, promoting the display’s free-form nature, which offers a “cutting-edge solution” that is “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 extendable screen also features a micro-LED light source with a pixel pitch of less than 40μm, which means they’re super close together, offering far greater resolution on par with existing monitors and “durability to withstand significant external impacts” – durability that allows the Stretchable display to offer “next-level versatility for various daily scenarios.” LG envisions these screens covering “curved surfaces”, expanding the marketing potential of industries such as fashion, wearables, mobility and gaming.
LG’s Stretchable display results from a large-scale national R&D project awarded to the company by South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) back in 2020. Its goal was to propel “next-generation display industry” for South Korea, with an additional twenty organisations working alongside LG and the country’s industrial-academic sector.
“We will successfully complete this project to enhance the competitiveness of Korean display technology while continuing to lead the industry’s paradigm shift,” remarked Soo-young Yoon, Executive Vice President and CTO at LG Display.
LG already offers Ultra Stretched screens to businesses for various applications, like displaying information and advertising. However, these displays are just super wide or tall (depending on their orientation), limiting them to flat installations. You may have also seen the recent influx of 3D billboards, like the one that was recently installed by Circles.Life above Emporium Melbourne back in February. While those screens are certainly impressive and far more engaging than a billboard playing a video, they don’t nearly have the same ability to cover more unorthodox surfaces.
However, at only 12 inches (extended to 14 when stretched), it’s about the same resolution as the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which has an even higher pixel depth of 264ppi, making it a little too small to compete with billboards. Because unlike the 144-inch foldable screen from C-SEED unveiled at CEDIA Expo 2021, which uses a series of five massive MicroLED foldable panels to produce a much larger display, the Stretchable display is designed to physically stretch across a surface, transforming it into a display itself.
Where the Stretchable Display could take off is reminiscent of the colour-changing white E ink screens that were wrapped around a BMW SUV at CES 2022. Any vehicle could be covered in Stretchable displays to create a mobile advertisement without the risk of the screens being severely damaged in an accident. Until such a time as the Stretchable display is expanded to higher resolutions with better pixel depth, we probably won’t be seeing these out on the street anytime soon. Though we speculate the fashion industry could commandeer this technology for wearable advertising, hopefully eliminating the brand tattoos for money industry. Seriously, quit it!
Though, one Reddit user said, “As long as I get paid for all the ads my clothes will be displaying, I’m down.”