LG rolls up OLED TV, smokes my mind (hands-on)

One of the most amazing pieces of tech I've ever seen, let alone touched, is a TV so thin you can roll it up like a piece of paper and slip it in your bag. Behold LG's 18-inch rollable OLED.


When I rolled up to LG Display's demo room, I had no idea I'd experience a very thin slice of the future of TV.

Among the curved OLEDs, 8K TVs and automotive displays was something I'd heard about but never seen before, let alone touched: A display so thin--just 0.18mm--it can be rolled up like a poster.

The 18-inch OLED display was tightly rolled into a cone shape, supported by a black stand and wedged into a chunk of plastic like a pair of lips. On its surface, improbably, danced images of city skylines and other demo footage, rendered alien by the tight curvature. It was like nothing I'd seen before.

LG Display also had a piece of the display on hand for me to play around with. It felt just like a piece of plastic poster sheathing in my hand, and it bent, warped, and yes, rolled just as easily. It wasn't displaying anything on the mirrored-looking surface, of course; we're still a few years away from having the wireless power, input capability and other requirements of a fully functioning rollable TV.

LGD says the next step is to improve the size beyond 18 inches. The resolution will also likely receive a bump from the 810x1,200, but since it's OLED its other picture-quality characteristics -- namely an insanely high contrast ratio -- are superb to begin with.

So why would you ever want a rollable display? An obvious use case is hassle-free portability; the LG rep described rolling the TV up, stuffing it into a bag and taking it anywhere. A placard at the booth showed future people reading a "digital newspaper." Either way, making the displays we use every day lighter and more portable is an inevitable trend.

Check out the rest of CNET's CES 2016 coverage here.

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