After folding and rollable screens, the branch dedicated to screens LG just unveiled a new kind of stretchable screen. It can indeed stretch by increasing its initial display area by 20%, according to the South Korean manufacturer.
The screen in question, which has a “normal” surface of 12 inches, can stretch to reach an area of up to 14 inches. This new technology “free-form” — as LG calls it — allows the screen to be stretched, bent or even twisted without being damaged.
The result of a national R&D project
The prototype in question is a color screen with a resolution of 100 ppi. Its ability to deform gives it unprecedented durability. The material of this screen is made from a highly resistant substrate made of silicon, a metalloid that is found in particular in contact lenses.
This component is as stretchy as a rubber band, allowing it to be stretched at will, unlike other folding or roll-up screen technologies. For lighting, the screen is equipped with micro-LEDs of less than 40 µm which guarantee durability in the event of impact and also offer better resolution.
An unconventional technology opening up new perspectives
To create this kind of screen and connect all of its micro-LEDs, LG had to abandon conventional circuitry and instead use stretchable circuits in the form of S-shaped springs. This is to allow the screen to withstand stretching repeated and ensure a certain reliability.
This invention can, among other things, adapt and be attached to any uneven surface – on clothing for example, but also on skin, furniture or vehicles – and could bring new perspectives in industries such as such as telephony or video games.
For now, the stretching operation seems to be done manually, but who knows what this technology will actually be capable of in the future.