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Bendable, high-definition displays gearing up for 2021

LG Display unveils next-generation multi-function screen

LG Display’s 48-inch bendable cinematic sound OLED (LG Display)
LG Display’s 48-inch bendable cinematic sound OLED (LG Display)
Displays that are interactive, transparent, bendable and emit sound are no longer the product of science fiction.

In 2021, Korean display companies LG Display and Samsung Display are seeking to attract global clients with innovations in form factor and display performance, aiming to capitalize on the consumer electronics boom on the back of COVID-19. 

One thing to note is the players, respectively known for their expertise in big displays and small displays -- LG for big organic light-emitting diode panels for TVs and Samsung for small OLED panels for smartphones -- are working to cover their weaker sides.

At the annual Consumer Electronics Show that takes place online on Jan. 11, LG Display will introduce a screen that doubles as a TV and a game monitor -- going beyond the conventional idea of using a single screen for two purposes.

When watching the TV, the screen will be flat. But for games, it will be curved for an immersive gaming experience, LG Display said Sunday.

The product is a 48-inch bendable Cinematic Sound OLED panel, LG Display said.

LG Display is proud of its OLED technology which allows each pixel to emanate light, enabling just the panel itself to suffice as a display.

Utilizing the benefits of a paper-thin panel to its fullest, the bendable CSO can bend enough to form a loop 2 meters across.

A double-combo aspect of this innovative display is that it will require no additional speaker. The panel itself vibrates to release cinematic sound.

To preserve the quality and design of its 48-inch bendable CSO, LG Display has worked on an advanced exciter, which is merely 0.6 millimeters thick. Exciters are the component that vibrates and makes sound. They are generally 9 millimeters thick. The exciter goes on the back of the panel as an extra layer.

“This is only possible for OLED panels, as liquid crystal displays, LCDs in short, have much too many accessories attached at the back to enable its function and cannot be vibrated to create sound,” an LG Display official said.

For now the advantage is that the sound comes forward from the screen, rather than being blasted out of the sides to be bounced off the walls and furniture, which should increase efficiency and reduce noise pollution.

But later versions could put different films behind different parts of the screen. Imagine watching a movie where the sound of an actor‘s voice comes from the direction of his mouth.

The 48-inch bendable CSO panel has a 0.1 millisecond response rate, meaning super-low latency, and a play rate of up to 120 frames per second.

LG Display’s OLED panel has previously been certified for cutting back on blue light emissions, and flicker-free features that are easy on the eyes. 

Samsung Display’s 13.3-inch OLED panel for 2021 laptops (Samsung Display)
Samsung Display’s 13.3-inch OLED panel for 2021 laptops (Samsung Display)
On the other side of the ring, albeit not participating in this year’s CES, Samsung Display will seek to seize 2021 with OLED laptop screens that come in 10 different sizes.

The year 2021 will see a big expansion for Samsung Display‘s OLED laptop screens, with an enlarged portfolio of 10 products with sizes varying between 13.3-inch and 16-inch monitors, with differences in detailed specifications.

“COVID-19’s byproducts are the home office, remote education and gaming. This has infused vivacity into laptops and the wider IT market,” said Kim Sung-chul, newly-elected president of small display business at Samsung Display.

“Just as Samsung’s OLED edged out liquid crystal displays in the smartphone market, it will proceed to do the same for laptops,” Kim said.

The company has increased its annual target sales volume fivefold, expecting bigger demand from the market on the back of a contactless lifestyle involving work-from-home and online education.

Starting in 2020, global information technology companies ranging from Lenovo, Asus, Dell, HP and more have all rolled out laptops decked with OLED screens.

Samsung Display anticipates more client firms will seek to launch enhanced laptops in the new year.

Samsung Display began supplying OLED laptop screens in 2019, when it introduced a 15.6-inch ultrahigh-definition product.

In 2020, it released quad-high-definition and full-high-definition products.

OLEDs, compared to LCDs, are structurally simpler and therefore allow for slimmer bezels and lighter weights.

They are perfect displays for portable IT gadgets, according to the industry.

OLEDs are 10 times faster than LCDs in terms of response rate, and can express 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color standards while LCD only fulfills 74 percent. It has a superior contrast range that can show deep darkness below 0.0005 nits, according to Samsung Display.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (kaylalim@heraldcorp.com)

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