back to article LG debuts thin malleable screens made from contact lens material

LG Display has shown off a thin, lightweight, stretchable and twistable micro-LED screen – an innovation South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) hopes will boost the nation's electronics industry. The display subsidiary of Korea's sprawling LG Corporation said the full color RGB, 100ppi resolution screen …

  1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    3 in 1 win

    Inorganic LEDs aren't just more efficient than OLED. They can run efficiently at retina-searing brightness for tens of thousands of hours. UV-A chips can incinerate pretty much anything at close range except optical silicone.

    It looks like LG figured out how make micro-LEDs, mount them, and prevent thermal stress all in one demo.

  2. Potemkine! Silver badge

    This new product seems to be very promising, with many potential usages

    And while that's exciting, it's also scary that any surface at any time could be used to show advertising.

    For that one, spray paint can be a solution.

    ==Bring us Dabbsy back! ==

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could LG put some effort into making the user interface of their tellies not shit first please?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Maybe if people stopped buying the bloody things by the truckload they might be arsed to change them.

      Unfortunately, as long as how well they sell is governed by how gushing the tech reviews are over the panel, the UI isn't on their radar of things to worry about.

      HINT: A decent panel on a top notch system beats teh wurld's bestest panel on a meh system every day. Better Down/Upscaling and streaming performance is worth the odd few-thousand nits for 90 plus percent of use cases.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "Maybe if people stopped buying the bloody things by the truckload they might be arsed to change them."

        Isn't that why the article reported on LG losses? People not buying TVs and panels?

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Resolution of 100ppi is decent, but it's not that good.

    And worse: it gets less when stretched!

    obv: the one with the LEDs in the pocket --->

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Resolution of 100ppi is decent, but it's not that good.

      100ppi makes each pixel 0.254mm. I'm not sure my eyes have ever been that good and they've not got better with age.

      Scrolling LED displays, departure boards and the like, are perfectly good at 5ppi. Typical text LCD displays are about 40ppi. It's all about use case.

  5. John Robson Silver badge

    When you say not good enough for TVs

    You don't need the same pixel density as something handheld on something a few metres away.

    4k at 50" is about 44" across, and 3840 pixels, that's under 90ppi.

    A larger screen obviously has even lower density.

    Of course Wii controllers aren't smashing into TVs as often any more... so this is probably limited to to rollable displays (which could be really quite nice in various circumstances, but are almost certainly niche to say the least)

    1. BOFH in Training

      Re: When you say not good enough for TVs

      If you are thinking in terms of traditional screens, you dont need these sort of flexible / foldable screens.

      Who needs a foldable screen if it's going to be used as a traditional TV all the time at a fixed location? Unless you plan to unfold a 30-50 inch screen wherever you are to watch tv?

      Think of more unusual possibilities -

      An ebook reader which actually folds open like a traditional book.

      Clothing which displays whatever you want it to show.

      Screens as curtains, so you can view whatever you want (even use as a TV) when you want.

      Screens as coffee mats / table cloths, etc - so you can read/view the news/book when you are having a meal.

      Flexible phones, such as those shown in the Ultraviolet movie (not necessarily from a vending machine / throwaway, but still that design can be cool).

      Even as wallpaper, with designs changing to suit your every wish (assuming it's cheap and power efficient enough to use as wallpaper for a room or home).

      Some of the above examples, you don't really need high PPI. Some uses may need higher PPI.

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: When you say not good enough for TVs

        > Who needs a foldable screen if it's going to be used as a traditional TV all the time at a fixed location?

        I would love to have a TV screen that rolled up like a projector screen.

        Most of the day it could be rolled away, giving access to a lot of wall space for bookshelves or pretty much anything better looking than a blank screen. You could have a sensible size of screen for newscasts and repeats of Fawlty Towers, then unroll the honking great one to cover the whole wall for the opening to Star Wars (what the youngsters call "Episode IV").

        Or have one unroll from the ceiling at the foot of the bed for a sing along to Rocky Horror on a lazy Sunday morning: far taller & wider than you'd get with one of those "rises from the footboard" contraptions.

  6. Roger Kynaston

    Now, if they really want to impress

    Why not come up with reflective rather than backlit LEDs. I'm sure it is very difficult but would be worth it I think.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: Now, if they really want to impress

      Then it wouldn't be an LED any more. The "E" is the clue. It would just be a colourable reflective cell, like colour e-ink which already exists.

      1. Roger Kynaston
        Black Helicopters

        thanks for pointing out my doh!

        I blame a brain fart as I meant to type LCD!

        I blame the tories!

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          "I blame the tories!"

          Or, as we used to say after dropping a plate, "look what that bloody woman has made me do now!"

    2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: Now, if they really want to impress

  7. Lazlo Woodbine

    Astin Martin Vanish

    Couple this with a few high-res cameras and you have Bond's vanishing Vanquish...

  8. Julz


    Runner, here we come. Well, three years too late but who's counting...

  9. Andrew Newstead


    This would make Heads Up Displays on visors or other eye ware quite easy to do now. Standby for the (possible) resurrection of Google Glass?

    1. Calum Morrison

      Re: Visors

      It's made of contact lens polymer so why stop at visors; this sort of stuff is going to be on or in your cornea in our lifetime... I'm guessing El Reg will be able to get a quote from that mad/self aggrandising prof that used to implant chips in his arms on this one.

      1. MrReynolds2U

        Re: Visors

        Yep, I immediately thought of this Black Mirror episode: The Entire History of You

      2. Mint Sauce

        Re: Visors

        Captain Cyborg! Time was he'd be popping up in the El-Reg pages on an almost weekly basis.

      3. DJO Silver badge

        Re: Visors

        Transparent, thin & flexible display. - Tick

        Transparent conductors. - Tick

        Transparent components. - Tick

        Transparent & tiny high capacity battery. - No Tick

        Degree of enthusiasm about wedging a battery into the eye socket - minus several million%

        1. that one in the corner Silver badge

          Re: Visors

          > Transparent & tiny high capacity battery. - No Tick

          Wireless power, radiated from a watch-like device. With a bone conduction effector on the end of your index finger, you take a phone call by sticking your index finger into your ear and simultaneously powering up the display on your contact lens.

          Whilst you pretend to be a secret agent or bodyguard from a Hollywood film.

          1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

            Re: Visors

            You might be pretending to be a secret agent, but you'll look like a gibbering idiot, walking around town talking to yourself with your finger in your ear.

            Just put a battery pack somewhere less obvious, like under your ribcage, with a wire running to your head. And, pray you never need an MRI.

  10. breakfast Silver badge

    Running it on windows

    I think there's an interesting opportunity for turning windows into backlit screens, giving an instant, dynamic stained-glass type effect. Not hugely useful, but you could do some really fun artistic effects with it.

    1. Belperite

      Re: Running it on windows

      "Broadcasting beautiful views 24 hours a day: you're tuned to the Scenery Channel"

    2. TimMaher Silver badge

      Re: Running it on windows

      Is that going to work on Windows 11? What with the security features and all that?

  11. spold Silver badge

    A new twist on...

    A head-mounted display!

    Perhaps a forehead one with emojis or brain driven messaging... "My goodness you are a bigger $@*& than when we last met", "would you like to come back to my place bouncy bouncy"... OK, most likely ads <sigh>. I have seen a few people where "Coke is it" or "Rent this space" might work.

    1. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: A new twist on...

      Forehead[1] ads for Golden Palace Casino (dot com), surely.

      [1] other body parts are available (the mind boggles)

  12. Robert Grant

    > it's also scary that any surface at any time could be used to show advertising

    Perhaps. But it's far less scary than almost any actual bad thing.

    Imagine if this could be used to make contact lenses with HUDs!

  13. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    I'm dissappointed... comments about MOTIE watchmakers?

  14. Old Used Programmer

    Two things...

    First, one could put on various surfaces of a car to tell the idiot who tailgating you what you think of him, or the guy blasting out rap at 150dB to turn it down.

    What I'd really like to see would be a monitor that rolls up like an old fashioned home movie screen. Say in the 22" to 27" FHD range.

  15. that one in the corner Silver badge

    Large transparent displays

    We can all play at Minority Report or that deadly game of battleships (World Domination) from Never Say Never Again.

    Or just use it in the living room window: switch it on at twilight and let the neighbours see your lively cocktail party, instead of the old pizza boxes as you slump in front of Sweeney reruns.

    OTOH, if you watched the video for the display, just imagine how much fun could be had hacking into all those video walls in the shopping mall: if you thought that an Imax could make you dizzy or believe you're falling, what about when you are really walking one way but the scenery isn't *quite* keeping up with you...

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