At CES 2018, LG unveiled an astonishing prototype OLED TV featuring a rollable, 65-inch screen. Designed to function without traditional backlighting, this innovative roll-up TV can be stored entirely within a mounted housing to remove wire clutter and free up wall space.
Ok, roll-up blinds, we get that.
Roll-up yoga mats. Well, who hasn’t?
Rolled-up newspapers and magazines, fine.
But a rollable TV screen?
That’s exactly what LG accomplished when it wowed audiences at CES 2018 with its prototype 65-inch, 4K-resolution screen which can be rolled up into a container not much larger than a standard TV soundbar. That’s rolled up — not folded, not bent.
What distinguishes LG’s roll-up organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology is that the screen does not require traditional backlighting — unlike its stiff OLED counterparts — allowing the display to be rolled up without compromising its functional integrity. To make this possible, the display was manufactured to be even thinner than standard OLED screens to be rolled up into convenient dimensions. Astonishingly, in terms of image quality, this brazen technology cedes nothing to the current crop of OLED screens on the market.
Reactions to LG’s roll-up OLED display has ranged from “outlandish and extravagant” to “indistinguishable from magic.” These lavish responses to LG’s innovative prototype are well-earned: it has the potential to redefine the landscape of television screens around the world for years to come.
A significant advantage to the roll-up OLED screen is that you can resize it to watch content in varying aspect ratios. At the touch of a button, your roll-up screen can be adapted to view films in true cinema-style fashion without needing to adjust those finicky black bars that crop the screen. Resize it even further to your liking, and you end up with a svelte 4K OLED display that shows email alerts, Whatsapp notifications, or your favorite Spotify playlist.
Then there’s the practical magic of owning a TV screen that can quite literally disappear out of sight. Larger TV screens, which are now becoming increasingly commonplace, can be quite unappealing when not in use and eat up valuable household real estate when mounted on a wall or on top of a bulky stand. Again, one touch of the remote control and your 65-inch screen vanishes into its rectangular housing, and you get to reclaim an entire portion of your living room wall.
Lastly, the roll-up screen’s housing can be customized to conceal the disarray of additional TV components such as input jacks, power supply, and extraneous speaker cables, resulting in drastically reduced wire clutter for a sleek, modern look.
Now for the bad news: LG’s roll-up masterpiece is still in its early development and conceptual stages, so don’t expect it to hit retail shelves before 2019. But when it finally does make its consumer debut, expect some pretty significant impact to ripple down into the design of laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and possibly, even your car’s windshield.