LG Display announced a stretchable display that can be extended by 20 percent. According to the South Korean display manufacturer, the full-colour panel features a resolution of 100 pixels per inch (PPI) and a flexible size of 12 to 14 inches.

Stretchable displays, also known as free-form displays, can be extended, curved and even twisted. Some analysts believe they’re the next phase in display development, following the commercialization of foldable screens by Samsung and LG.

LG has been working on a stretchable display in partnership with 20 South Korean research organizations since 2020. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2024. The organization recently shed light on its prototypes.

Potential applications

LG Display said it developed a film-type substrate using specialized silicon materials commonly applied in contact lenses.

According to the organization, the substrate boosts the display’s elasticity significantly. The South Korean manufacturer employed tiny LEDs as a light source, helping the stretchable flexible display withstand external shocks.

LG Display said that the circuits beneath the hood are configured like springs rather than straight lines to facilitate bending and folding.

According to the organization, the display can be used for devices with uneven surfaces, including furniture, clothing and traditional consumer goods such as wearables.

The next step after foldable displays

Other use cases are customized outfits worn by first responders to transmit real-time information with fitted screens. LG Display noted the panels could also be designed with bumps that function as buttons to allow visually handicapped individuals to utilize touch screens more broadly.

Following past scepticism about the longevity and degradation of foldable displays, user interest in new varieties of flexible screens has grown. Last year, Samsung claimed to have sold over a million foldable smartphones. Apple is also developing iPhones with foldable screens. Stretchable displays may be the next big thing.

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