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LG Confirms Flexible OLED Before End of 2013

By - Source: TechRadar | B 15 comments

LG to start mass producing flexible OLED displays and using them in a production phone.

Flexible screens sounds like something from the future, but according to LG, the future will be in mass production and in mobile phones before the end of this year. The company had previously confirmed that it will start mass production of the flexible Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) screens back in April, but now it has upped the ante and decided to predict a fully functional mobile device with the screen as well.

The screens are being produced in the company's South Korean display complex, located in Paju. While it has already shipped samples to other companies, including the LG Electronics branch, full production is only expected to start in Q4 this year, with an expected rate of 12,000 screens per month.

There have been no further hints towards the actual phone, but we are expecting some interesting developments. Flexible screens, while being an incredible technological advancement, don't seem to be the most useful thing ever on a smartphone, so we are hopeful that the company will pull off something amazing that highlights their uses.

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  • 0 Hide
    eklipz330 , June 23, 2013 9:14 PM
    throw some flexible pcb and flexible rubber in there, and you got yourself a solidly-flexible phone! i think if they brought it to market first, apple would evaporate.
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    eklipz330 , June 23, 2013 9:53 PM
    throw some flexible pcb and flexible rubber in there, and you got yourself a solidly-flexible phone! i think if they brought it to market first, apple would evaporate.
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    ingtar33 , June 23, 2013 10:19 PM
    looks like a product without a market. sorta like the see through screens. i can see the see-through screens being used in new versions of google glass... but this? the basic problem with this product is the battery. it demands a rigid phone design. Unless they develop a flexible battery, this will remain a product without a market...

    maybe in laptops...
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    Blessedman , June 23, 2013 11:05 PM
    You guys are missing an obvious use and that would be a roll out screen. a phone the size of a small flashlight that can unroll into a much larger screened phone.
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    Cons29 , June 23, 2013 11:50 PM
    i think i saw some news about some flexible battery, it was film like i think
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    kitsunestarwind , June 23, 2013 11:51 PM
    Flexible screen is less likely to shatter upon impact as well
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    altriss , June 24, 2013 3:56 AM
    @cons29
    yes the flexibal battery was presented 8 months ago in the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

    By the way,the flexible screen is teased by Samsung for over a year now, I am still wainting for it. So I will wait to see the first consumer-released screen before applauding anyone.

    And I don't think it would be very usefull on a smartphone, except it can make the screen more resilient to falls. However I think it can be very great for some HUD application, in motbike helmet for exemple, or in wearable tools, such as Watches or any smart clothe.
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    catswold , June 24, 2013 6:04 AM
    I want one . . . 5760 X 1200 . . . about 6-7 feet long. Seamless surround video. I think it would be the cat's meow for gaming on 3 screens.
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    leeashton , June 24, 2013 6:13 AM
    @altriss samsung has a production problem with thier screen and besides sammy screen is ONLY black and white
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    leeashton , June 24, 2013 6:15 AM
    this WILL be used in phones, no more cracked screen this is the main premise for the screen, really are you guys to f**ken stupid to notice this!
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    CaedenV , June 24, 2013 8:05 AM
    Flexable displays are mostly useless for most things I have seen it advertised for.

    For phones it is neat because it allows for much thinner designs, lower power, no backlight, and it would be very resilient to drops and falls. But the price would be astronomical at launch, and it will never be used in a way where it is actively flexed. The flexibility will just be used as a shock absorber.

    For roll-out tablets it seems like a neat idea, but one of the largest complaints about ultrabooks is that they are flimsy and not ridged enough to use with touch... and that has a backing! A Roll-out display may look cool, but it will probably be annoying to use.

    But, there are some things which could be really neat uses for it... once the price comes down.
    Devices like Occulous Rift could use them as their displays. It would cut down on the weight (no backlight needed), and the display could curve with the eye, potentially allowing for less optics (weight and thickness).
    Large monitors could also be curved, making them easier on the eyes, and more immersive. Right now I have a 28" display, and while I normally sit a good 3.5' away (which is why I got such a large screen), I occasionally sit much closer to it for games. When I sit a more 'normal' viewing distance of ~2' away there are some serious issues of the center of the screen being much closer than the corners. My next monitor will probably be a small 4K TV in the 35-45" range, and with that size I would imagine that I will have similar issues when sitting far away. It would be no good for a multi-user device (like a living room TV), but for a personal screen it could potentially make things a bit easier on the eyes.
    Future cars could also make great use of this, especially if it is fairly transparent when not used. Sun in your eyes? You can have an auto-adjusting visor that obstructs the sun, but nothing else... and for every passenger in the car. You could have a map overlay so that you do not need to worry about missing a turn, or worry about stupid localities that use tiny fonts for their street signs. Businesses and addresses can be clearly marked and labeled so that you do not need to worry about looking for small storefront signs when in an unfimiliar area. Stop-lights and signs can be much more blatent. Cars and objects at night could be outlined or brightened up so that you can easily see them. Dash instruments, review mirrors, etc could be displayed in a smaller area allowing for less blind spots, and to monitor multiple points of interest more easily. And we could do all of that while still using an oddly curved and aerodynamic windshield.

    But the point is that while there could be a few really amazing uses for this tech, cell phones and tablets are not them. They could gain durability, but they are not going to revolutionize the portable market.
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    OLED , June 24, 2013 12:07 PM
    Contrary to many comments in here, flexible display technology will have far reaching effects and some extremely useful practical applications, as well as being a whole new tool in the digital marketers toolbox. I discuss some of the future uses and current technology at oledflexible - http://oledflexible.net where it should be apparent how important a step forward in display technology they truly are.
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    __-_-_-__ , June 24, 2013 12:51 PM
    12000 is that correct? because that's a really really low number for a full scale production of a electronic component...
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    catswold , June 24, 2013 1:18 PM
    Quote:
    Contrary to many comments in here, flexible display technology will have far reaching effects and some extremely useful practical applications, as well as being a whole new tool in the digital marketers toolbox. I discuss some of the future uses and current technology at oledflexible - http://oledflexible.net where it should be apparent how important a step forward in display technology they truly are.

    Yeah, they are going to be a huge item in advertising. Monitors mounted on the sides of buses, trucks, buildings, anywhere there's a flat surface . . . I suspect they'll even invade your privacy in the public toilet stalls--captive audience. :D 
  • 0 Hide
    OLED , June 24, 2013 1:42 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Contrary to many comments in here, flexible display technology will have far reaching effects and some extremely useful practical applications, as well as being a whole new tool in the digital marketers toolbox. I discuss some of the future uses and current technology at oledflexible - http://oledflexible.net where it should be apparent how important a step forward in display technology they truly are.

    Yeah, they are going to be a huge item in advertising. Monitors mounted on the sides of buses, trucks, buildings, anywhere there's a flat surface . . . I suspect they'll even invade your privacy in the public toilet stalls--captive audience. :D 


    Ah - even more than we can imagine! I see a not-too-distant future where every available surface is advertising space, regardless of shape or form. However I also see the less commercial aspects becoming a frequent sight. Metro train doors & windows displaying tourist / travel information, flexible displays for military clothing etc. One thing to bear in mind is that the technology will not only be flexible, but also consume much less power & be extremely lightweight. This in itself means the range of locations and sizes will be much further than current tech. In truth those kinds of applications are a fair time away, and only really when an effective R2R manufacturing process is established whereby the production costs are manageable for mass production will we see this. Until then it will be expensive smartphones and high-end TVs etc that it'll be used for.

    One other thing to consider is that this technology is likely to be superseded itself by QLED or quantum level displays which are also in a research & development stage currently.