Hardware

LG, Samsung show off new prototypes of futuristic flexible displays

Samsung and LG gave us glimpses of the future of e-readers and computing devices at the FPD International event this week Japan.

Samsung and LG demonstrated differing -- although possibly complimentary -- glimpses of the future of display technology at the Flat Panel Display International event being held Nov. 10-12 in Chiba, Japan.

LG showed off a 19-inch e-paper display that can be flexed from side to side without distorting the text and images on the screen. Samsung demonstrated an OLED screen that can curved and bent while still displaying a perfectly-clear full-color image.

Here's a short 94-second video clip from IDG that offers a glimpse of both technologies:

The LG e-paper displays are clearly aimed at low-cost, low-profile readers that will replace today's books and newspapers, and potentially even many business documents as well.

Meanwhile, Samsung's flexible OLED is targeting next-generation multimedia and computing devices. OLED (organic light emitting diode) is a much different technology than today's LCD (liquid crystal display) screens. LCDs have screen with a separate light panel behind it to shine through the screen and display the images. OLED uses a single screen in which the pixels generate light when charged by an electrical current. This allows for OLEDs to be far thinner than traditional LCDs (even the newer ones with LED backlighting).

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

11 comments
K_Green
K_Green

One of my favorite examples of the potential for flexible displays comes from the movie Red Planet. At one point, the characters are show referring to a terrain map. It is being displayed on a roll-up display device. http://www.technovelgy.com/graphics/content07/red-planet-map-display.jpg Weight is a huge consideration for space exploration. Having light, flexible displays (maps, computer displays, helmet displays, EVA suit readouts) will help reduce weight.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Just fine, Jason. Next you know, we all be walking about in public wearing conic dog collars with surround-see.

mlococo
mlococo

What about the possibility of a surround type screen where the screen covers your full range of vision? or even a 3d goggle type display?

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Once these types of displays are unfettered from the old, flat form factors, then I think we'll see a number of creative innovations like the ones you mentioned.

Ajax4Hire
Ajax4Hire

Wearable Video Display on you cheek and now you can be a walking advertisement. Out-of-work celebrities will rent out their skin space for advertisements. Marry this with PAN Bluetooth for audio. Then with IPv6, everyone has multiple IP address for each personal device and you can stream content both ways, from the person, to the person. Awesome technology.

OCJim
OCJim

How about on the plane, where you connect the flex display, rolled up in your briefcase, to you mobile phone? And a fold out keboard? The next computer after that would be an upgrade to my smartphone...

JohnZollner
JohnZollner

Yes, I went there... Its the return of the slap braclet craze that was banned from schools in the early 90s. Only digital =) Seriously though I can see these being used for media, particularly column advertising and also in car displays

mleuck
mleuck

Construction drawings and schematics at job site off a tablet or smartphone is one huge market by itself

Clandistine1
Clandistine1

After that you will be watching a movie on your shorts and 'themeing' shirt

NEWMG-Spencer
NEWMG-Spencer

Actually, the slap bracelet thing isn't that crazy sounding. Imagine it working more like a watch and your [smart] cell phone together. While wrapped around your wrist, you can display a clock to your liking and change it out whenever you wish. Make it a touch display and have your favorite Android and iPhone apps on it. On a different note, a nice wide screen to use on a gaming computer and wrapped off to the sides would be pretty nice. Better immersion experience. I'm sure these would also be used for different types of art forms.

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