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LG To Mass Produce Shatter-Proof, Plastic-Based OLED Displays This July

LG and Samsung have started selling "curved" display devices since last year, but neither company has produced so far what could be described as unbreakable or shatter-proof. The current bendable displays are glass-based and can only provide a limited 75 mm bending radius. LG is now working on plastic-based OLED displays that are much more flexible and have an increased bending flexibility of 30 mm radius.

Besides being able to make curved screens, which may or may not be of value to the regular user, LG could also make screens that don't shatter when the device is dropped. Many people drop their devices accidentally, and repairs tend to be quite expensive. If you buy a low-end smartphone, it might not even be worth it to replace its touchscreen, as the replacement could end up costing almost as much as the new device.

LG's main trouble in switching from glass-based OLED displays to plastic-based ones was in providing the same level of energy efficiency, luminance and color accuracy. The new plastic-based OLED display from LG has an efficiency of 60 lumens/Watt, an 807 nits peak brightness output, 3000K color temperature and a CRI (Color Rendering Index) of 85.

The display may not qualify as one of the best in terms of image quality compared to other glass-based displays right now, but it could get quite close, and LG should continue to improve those aspects of the technology over the coming years.

LG intends to use it not just in smartphones, but also in tablets, wearables, PC monitors, TVs, car dashboards, and even for interior design. In 2017, LG hopes to be able to create foldable computers. That may be a little optimistic, as the industry will also need to provide us with foldable chips, RAM, flash memory and other components that go into making a mobile device for that to be possible. Alternatively, hardware makers could just put the components somewhere at the edges of the display, so only the display itself could fold around those "harder" edges. It wouldn't be a truly flexible device, but it could help put larger screen in a smaller footprint.

LG will start mass producing the new plastic-based OLED displays in July. It's not clear whether we'll see them in the company's LG G4 or G5, but it may appear in an even more curved and shatter-proof LG G Flex 3.

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