LG unveils rollable 18-inch TV, promise 60-inch version by 2017

TVs with curved displays have already hit the market, but rollable and foldable screens are the real goal
  • @jjvincent

First came the flat screens and now come the rollables. This week LG has unveiled the world’s first working 18-inch TV that can be rolled into a tube for transportation.

The flexible screen uses OLED technology – otherwise known as organic light emitting diodes – that mean backlighting isn’t necessary, although real magic comes from the use of a special "high molecular substance-based polyimide film” backing that allows the screen to bend and flex.

The company also unveiled an 18-inch transparent screen and said that they were confident that by 2017 they will have combined the two technologies to create “an Ultra HD flexible and transparent OLED panel of more than 60 inches”.

LG's transparent display

For the average consumer though this technology is a long way off, with TV manufacturers currently trying to convince the market that curved – but not flexible – screens are the must-have advance.

Unfortunately, the reactions to these devices has been mixed, with ultra-high resolutions welcomed by reviewers but curved displays mostly dismissed for offering few tangible benefits. Still, these are only really stop-gap technologies, with the real end goal being foldable devices that allow the ultimate in portable large screens.