The future of display technologies is not just giant TVs, it’s South Korea tech giant LG’s almost infinitely mutable OLED technology, which is now migrating to furniture and exercise apparatus.
At CES 2022, LG Display is announcing a handful of oddball and exciting flexible and semi-transparent display innovations, including a giant semi-circle chair home entertainment system and a new way to spin.
Much of this is possible because of OLED (organic light-emitting diode) native capabilities, which include self-emitting light—when charged— (LCD requires backlight) and an organic structure that allows them to be manufactured on thin, flexible substrates.
LG Display, which, unlike the consumer LG Electronics company, builds concepts that it hopes will inspire consumer-facing companies to build new products around, gave TechRadar a sneak peek at some of its latest OLED innovations.
Immersive displays you can sit in
OLED is not just about transparency; it also provides flexibility (early OLED demonstration often featured someone rolling up a live screen like paper.
Samsung demonstrating a rollable OLED display at CES pastThx @LanceUlanoff for this! #CES2022 pic.twitter.com/R6kVGkiFkrDecember 6, 2021
LG’s Media Chair concept features a large semi-circle seating system. Inside is a reclining chair and curved, 55-inch LG OLED with built-in Cinematic Sound OLED (CSO). Both the recliner and screen rotate in tandem inside the circle, keeping the screen perfectly aligned with the viewer. In another twist, the screen can with the touch of a button rotate 90-degrees.
Similarly, LG showed us a Virtual Ride system that wraps a stationary bike rider in three, brilliant 55-inch OLEDs from over their heads to the tips of their toes, all curved to create a seamless viewing experience. LG calls it an immersive system, but there are no OLEDs on the left or right side of the rider. Still, it does have the potential to make a bored spin rider feel more engaged as they cycle through a virtual countryside—just don’t glance to your left, right, or below your feet.
These and other LG OLED implementations (past years saw them in curved chairs, see-through shopping kiosks, and pop-up bed screens) are a reminder that these flexible displays can go almost anywhere. In the meantime, more mainstream TV manufacturers, like LG Electronics, Sony, and Panasonic are pressing OLED technologies into Ultra HD and 8K-TV service. Those are the spaces where consumers are more likely to encounter this cutting-edge display technology.
Still, these LG Display concepts offer an exciting look at a future where more surfaces become displays, but it’ll only become a reality if companies start building consumer systems based on these concept designs.
- Need something a bit more practical? Check out our guide to the best TVs of 2021!