By Alex Jensen
It’s been a big year for breakthrough display technologies, as we’ve seen the emergence of third-generation OLED TV panels as well as flexible screens that are starting to show us just how revolutionary they could be.
From CES to SID, it’s clear from this year’s major tech shows that only the most special form factors and tech advances are going to grab attention in the fiercely competitive display market.
Yet, there are three examples of display tech advancement that have played particularly starring roles in 2023 – and as we’re at the halfway point of the year, it seems like a good time to celebrate why they have been so impressive.
A leap forward with third-generation OLED
Anyone who followed CES 2023 back in January will know how well received LG Display’s third-generation OLED technology was received for making OLED’s outstanding image quality even more exceptional – and significantly deepening immersion levels for TV viewers and gamers alike. Officially known as META Technology, this advancement has been able to deliver 60% brighter displays and 30% wider viewing angles. Its arrival was memorably described as “a cool, clever technology, it’s very effective, and it’s going to make OLED TVs look even better.”
META Technology incorporates over 5,000 micro lenses per pixel to make up the Micro Lens Array (MLA). Alongside LG Display’s META Booster algorithmic processing, these micro lenses save light that would otherwise be scattered. Put simply, META Technology is a welcome leap at a time when “higher brightness and better color” are expected to drive OLED TV demand.
At SID 2023 in Los Angeles last month, attendees gave their stamp of approval to the latest generation of OLED as they chose LG Display’s 77-inch 8K META OLED display for a “People’s Choice Award.” Also, just consider for a moment that the 77-inch panel in question is made up of over 33 million self-emissive pixels – and each one of them is equipped with thousands of MLA micro lenses! OLED’s famously perfect black and vivid color expression soar with META Technology’s brightness and ultra-wide viewing angles. That is why, even though it has already been commercialized, “it is always a wonder to watch this particular display which offers an extraordinary image quality.”
Rolling with the changes
Flexible form factors are really rolling, folding, and bending their way into our display reality. These are the kinds of screens that Achin Bhowmik, president of the Society for Information Display (SID), was referring to at SID 2023 when he said the show allowed visitors to “see the future of display.”
On that note, step forward LG Display’s 18-inch Rollable OLED which not only shows visual content in impressive QHD quality but also converts into a portable speaker. You can get a sense of why this was among the breakthrough devices at SID 2023 via these Twitter comments: “This is one of those wants that is so great that I need one,” “I like the idea of a portable display that doubles as a portable speaker;” and “Wow, what a great versatile device.” This display is unprecedented in that it is the first Rollable OLED to incorporate Tandem OLED technology, which stacks two OLED layers to significantly improve brightness and durability – it can be rolled and unrolled over 100,000 times without affecting its silky smooth screen, while it has also successfully endured extreme temperature tests from -40˚C to 85˚C!
And a display that rolls down to become a speaker additionally speaks to the versatility that is so important to the future of screens, which are rapidly progressing far beyond the old boxes we used to watch TV on. For instance, display manufacturers are rushing to fill the automotive space with screens that do a lot more than your standard infotainment panel. Remember that 18-inch Slidable Automotive OLED at CES 2023 (which I covered in more detail here)? It emerges from the inside roof of a vehicle, rather than rolling in and out of a speaker, and is another example of how Rollable OLED technology is shining in 2023.
Stretching display boundaries
Imagine a display that is so flexible it could easily be attached to a curved surface – from automobiles and furniture to clothing and skin! The reality of this vision is the reason for the excitement around LG Display’s potentially game-changing 12-inch Stretchable display, which was unveiled to the public for the first time during SID 2023.
Capable of stretching up to 14 inches in any direction, even static images of this thin, lightweight display are spellbinding. Its significance is such that it “paves the way for displays that can be extended, folded, and twisted without compromising resolution or color reproduction.”
As the world’s first stretchable panel to feature a high resolution of 100 pixels per inch and full color-RGB, you have to wonder what kind of research and development went into the innovation required to produce it. As it happens, LG Display researchers were recognized with two Excellence Paper Awards from SID last month, including one on Micro-LED stretchable displays. It should be no surprise that this 12-inch Stretchable display was also handed a “People’s Choice Award” at SID 2023.
Yet, LG Display does keep on surprising us with its steady series of innovations, including during an impressive start to 2023 – leaving us to guess what might come next.