Hands-on with LG’s roll-up flexible screen: Video

Special to the BBC at the CES – Dave Lee

If you’re in the business of making TV cabinets – look away now.

For the rest of you, feast your eyes on a remarkable innovation-in-progress. (Watch the Video below)

LG Display has been working on its fully flexible screen for some time now, but it’s at this year’s CES the BBC was given the exclusive first hands-on.

The screen can be rolled up and scrunched around, and the display is full HD.

The one I played with was 18in (45.7cm) corner to corner, but the team at LG say they’re aiming for screens that are 55in and beyond.

At that size they will be able to produce a screen quality of 4K, they say – that’s four times HD.

Right now, the resolution is 1,200 by 810 pixels.

How did they do it? Of course they wouldn’t share the precise details, but the crucial technological leap has been moving from LED TVs to OLED TVs.

The O stands for organic, and it removes the necessity of a back panel providing light to the screen. Therefore, it bends.

Why would you want a bendable TV? LG says it’s ideal for making displays, like in a shop, but also for people who no longer want to sacrifice an entire corner of a room to a television.

With a bendable screen like this, you can roll it up and pop it in a cupboard until you need it again.

Dead pixels

Unfortunately – and you knew this bit was coming – LG isn’t able to say how much it would eventually cost, or indeed, when it will actually be sold at all. At the moment, the team is buried in the prototype stage.

Image caption The screen can be bent but not folded flat

“The larger prototype is expected in the near future. But as for a commercial product, we’re still planning the timing,” says KJ Kim, LG Display’s vice president of its marketing division.

That can be translated as it’ll be a while yet.

Because while the screen is remarkable, it suffers a few flaws.

The night-time demo we saw, with quick flashing lights, was designed to conceal the numerous “dead” pixels in the display.

Dead pixels are those that have been damaged, so instead of emitting the correct colour just get appear as a tiny empty square.

There were several dead pixels on the screen and, after I played around with it a bit more, several more emerged.

Right now, the screen can only be rolled up in one direction, which isn’t a limitation, really, but something they will need to suss out before it comes to market.

Also, it’s crucial to point out that the screen can be rolled, but not folded flat.

Folding it flat would permanently damage it, and therefore the screen doesn’t represent a chance for something many have lusted over for a while, an interactive video newspaper that feels just like the paper product.

But we’re getting there.

3M Showcases High-Performance Solutions for Consumer Electronics Industry at CES: QDEF (Quanum Dot Enhancement Film)

ces-765LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–3M Electronics is exhibiting some of the company’s industry-leading solutions for the consumer electronics industry during the 2014 International CES, taking place Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. CES attendees are also invited to get a free 3M Privacy Screen Protector applied to their iPhone® 4S or iPhone® 5 Tuesday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to noon (PST) while learning more about the 3M technologies below at booth number 30459.

Screen privacy and protection products

The latest in screen privacy for mobile and desktop devices from 3M will be showcased and in particular, a key solution to the emerging data security risk of corporate information access on mobile devices. A proprietary micro-louver technology from 3M lets the user see a clear image, while showing a dark, blank screen to anyone viewing the display from a side angle. 3M screen privacy and protection solutions are available for tablets, smartphones, laptops, and monitors, as well as for managing light in industrial and automotive applications. Other booth displays include a larger-than-life 3M™ Privacy Screen Protector, and the full line of 3M™ Privacy and Screen Protector products, plus the newly-introduced 3M™ Easy-On Privacy Filters for iPads®, with an interactive attachment wall. Learn more at www.3mscreens.com.

Dot enhancement film

Devices such as smartphones, tablets and televisions can be made lighter, brighter and more energy efficient with 3M™ Quantum Dot Enhancement Film (QDEF). The new product from 3M allows up to 50 percent more color than current levels in liquid crystal display (LCD) devices. 3M has teamed with Nanosys, Inc. to produce the 3M QDEF solution.

Presently, LCDs typically are limited to displaying 35 percent or less of the visible color spectrum, resulting in a viewing experience that can be vastly different than what a person sees in the real world. The wider color gamut displays available through the new 3M film let consumers enjoy more visceral, more immersive, and truer-to-life color. Learn more at 3M.com/color. Nanoco nano_0

Touch screen films

3M recently announced new films to help touch screen manufacturers and integrators meet the growing demand for touch-enabled consumer electronics.

  • 3M™ Patterned Metal Mesh Film enables new design possibilities, such as curved and foldable touch screens, allowing OEMs and ODMs to create the next generation of touch-enabled smartphones, notebooks and tablets.
  • 3M™ Patterned Silver Nanowire Film combines the expertise of two leading technology and manufacturing companies – 3M and Cambrios Technologies Corporation – to provide the quality and volume that touch screen manufacturers demand. The flexible film can conform to angles and rounded surfaces, enabling next-generation curved and rollable touch sensors.
  • 3M™ ITO Film and 3M™ Advanced ITO Film offer excellent optical transparency, high conductivity and product quality at competitive prices.

3M plans to ramp up its global touch sensor film manufacturing capacity to more than 600,000 square meters per month, in aggregate, to support the growing demand for consumer touch-enabled devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, all-in-ones (AIO) and monitors. Learn more at 3MTouch.com/films.

Touch displays and systems

3M showcases its latest multi-touch solutions for interactive digital signage applications, including a new 42-inch multi-touch display, large-format multi-touch systems and downloadable multi-display/multi-touch software. Learn more at 3M.com/multitouch.

Design-enabling materials for a new generation of electronic displays

3M will also showcase a variety of industry-specific materials that help maximize the functionality, reliability and productivity of electronic displays, enabling brighter, lighter, thinner, state-of-the-art devices. 3M Optically Clear Adhesives (OCAs), Liquid Optically Clear Adhesives (LOCAs), Electronic Assembly Tapes, and Contrast Enhancement Films will be featured as part of the 3M Electronics display. Based on core 3M adhesive technology, 3M Optically Clear Adhesives are precision-manufactured to virtually eliminate common adhesive visual defects such as bubbling, which can distort the display and diminish consumer satisfaction with their device.

3M OCA’s meet certain specific display bonding requirements with the unique ability to customize the functionality, reactivity and performance of the adhesive. 3M’s collaborative culture and bench-to-bench approach, combined with electronics materials expertise, breadth of product portfolio and alignment with key consumer electronics industry leaders provides many innovative answers to demanding industry needs.

About 3M Electronics

3M Electronics provides a wide array of innovative products and systems that enable greater speed, brightness and flexibility in today’s electronic devices, while addressing industry needs for increased thinness, sustainability and longevity. Using the most recent R&D advances in materials and science, 3M offers technology, materials and components to create exceptional visual experiences; enable semiconductor processes and consumer electronics devices, and enhance and manage signals. 3M Electronics enables the digitally enhanced lifestyle of today and tomorrow. Learn more at: http://www.3Melectronics.com.

About 3M

3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops inventing. With $30 billion in sales, 3M employs 88,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.3M.com or follow @3MNews on Twitter.

UPDATE: Nanoco Confirms LG Deal As Nanosys Retracts Samsung Claim

GreenerLEDLONDON (Alliance News) – Nanoco Group PLC on Friday said South Korean electronics group LG Electronics has signed a deal with The Dow Chemical Co for the supply of Nanoco’s cadmium-free quantum dots for its Ultra HD TV range, as rival Nanosys issued a retraction to information on its deal with Samsung Electronics which sent shares in Nanoco plunging lower earlier this week.

The new range of TVs from LG was launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. The deal confirms a previous announcement from Nanoco that LG would use its quantum dot technology on its 4K TV line-up.

Nanoco did not provide any financial details on the contract. Nanoco nano_0

Quantum dots are nanocrystals made of semiconductor materials, which can be used in solar cells, LEDs and diode lasers. Nanoco’s quantum dots do not contain cadmium – a heavy metal that is restricted under European and other territories environmental legislation.

The confirmation of the deal with LG comes after shares in Nanoco dropped heavily earlier this week after Samsung Electronics unveiled new TVs at the CES event which were said to use technology from Nanoco’s rival Nanosys. Nanoco shares dropped around 18% after the Nanosys announcement on Tuesday.

On Friday, however, Nanosys issued a retraction to that statement, clarifying that its deal with Samsung only covers the patents on its quantum dot technology, not its products or technology.

Broker Liberum said this retraction is in line with its suggestion earlier in the week that Samsung will source the quantum dots for its next generation TVs in-house and reinforces its view that Samsung is likely to sign a deal with Dow for quantum dot supply in future.

“We are delighted that LG has entered a formal partnering agreement with Dow, which has the scale and expertise to meet LG’s quantum dot requirements,” said Nanoco Chief Executive Officer Michael Edelman.

Nanoco shares were up 1.3% to 118.00 pence on Friday morning.

Market Opportunities for Quantum Dots 2015-2022


NanoMarkets believes that opportunities for commercial use of quantum dots (QDs) have changed dramatically in the past year, and this, our most recent report on QDs, identifies where the money will be made as the a result of these new trends and developments.
QDs have now exploded onto the commercial display market and are appearing in displays of all sizes, enabling LCDs with greater color gamut and lower power consumption. These QD-enhanced LCDs are already providing direct competition to OLED displays, raising the question of whether OLED displays will ever take off in the way that was once hoped.  At the same time NanoMarkets believes that ability of the QD makers to supply sufficient materials to support future growth is no longer an issue.  
3D Printing dots-2
As a result of these trends, the granular eight-year forecasts of volume shipments and revenue generated contained in this report reflect NanoMarkets growing bullishness about QDs.  We have also considered how the QD supply chain is likely to change as the competition between QD suppliers to get the attention of major OEMs increases.
Most of the revenue generation from QDs will come from the display industry for the next few years. This is where the money is, and although 2014 saw the introduction of several QD-enhanced LCDs by a number of OEMs, QDs have still penetrated only a very small portion of the LCD market as yet.
Potential growth is huge and in the next three to eight years NanoMarkets believe that the QD industry will build upon its success in displays and expand into other commercial applications.  These newer markets are also analyzed in this report.  NanoMarkets thinks that solid-state lighting, with similar technical requirements to displays, will be the next to market. In the longer term we see potential for commercial development of QDs in solar cells and as fluorescent biomarkers, though both applications currently face substantial technical hurdles. Semiconductor diode lasers are also a potentially important application for QDs.
In this report, NanoMarkets discusses opportunities in QDs for companies throughout the supply chain – from QD suppliers to LED component makers to OEMs – and predicts how moves by these companies will affect the growth of the QD industry. We also look at the state of QD technology and what improvements will be needed to enable further growth.

– See more at: http://nanomarkets.net/market_reports/report/market-opportunities-for-quantum-dots-2015-2022#sthash.K8ykFzpT.dpuf

LG and Samsung Announce Quantum Dot TV: Market to Reach $9.6 BILLION by 2023

Hisense%20Quantum%20Dot%20ULEDLG announced quantum dot TV; quantum dot market forecast December 16, 2014. Today LG announced it’ll showcase its quantum dot TV at the upcoming CES 2015. We also expect Samsung to show quantum dot TV. Quantum dot could improve Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) dramatically in terms of color gamut, color accuracy and reducing power consumption.


Figure. Quantum dot display and lighting market forecast Source: Touch Display Research “Quantum dot display and lighting technologies and market forecast report”.

This is one of the biggest breakthrough technologies for LCD in recent several years. Now quantum dot LCD is challenging AMOLED. Touch Display Research surveyed many quantum dot suppliers and found that the quantum dot display component market surpassed $70 million in 2013.

We forecast that the quantum dot display and lighting component market will reach $9.6 billion by 2023. Touch Display Research will be at CES 2015 and report about all quantum dot displays and lighting.

Flexible displays: Beyond the hype

QDOTS imagesCAKXSY1K 8+Plastic Electronics magazine editor Dan Rogers will present at the upcoming printed and organic electronics industry event LOPE-C on the reality of flexible displays. +Plastic Electronics looks behind the hype about bendy phones

Samsung's flexible display concepts have been around for some time, but encased in glass Samsung are gearing up to produce flexible, unbreakable mobile phone screens that can be bent, twisted and even folded up and put in your wallet. The South Korean tech giant reportedly has the flexible screens in the final stage of development and will be ready to ship them next year.’ Daily Mail, December 2012

Headlines about bendable phones and flexible displays have been in plentiful supply in 2012-13, as OLED developers Samsung and LG have duelled for the leading position in next-generation consumer electronics screens.

Announcements about bullish plans to launch products based on flexible OLEDs have attracted interest not only from the plastic electronics industry, but have generated excitement in the mainstream and among consumers too.

The concept of folding or rolling up a smartphone and putting it in your pocket, or wrapping the whole thing around your wrist, may seem futuristic – or far-fetched, depending on your outlook. Yet media reports are not averse to predicting such devices being in the pockets or on the wrists of consumers as soon as later this year.

These reports seem to have lost sight of the detail. Samsung and LG are indeed planning to launch new and improved OLEDs in the near-term. And some upcoming innovations in flexible displays will indeed change the face of consumer electronics. But the changes in the coming years will be steps – albeit significant ones – on the road to fully flexible devices.


Samsung’s plans for its ‘Youm’ flexible OLED technology, announced in 2012, were to put the technology into phones later that year.

Flexible displays are in development, such as this one from the ASU, but are not near to full commercialisationThe jump from a stated plan to implement Youm, to assuming that bendy phones would appear on shelves in 2012, was made by a number of media outlets (including UK newspaper the Daily Mail – see quote above). In the end, neither was true. In November 2012, a Samsung official exclusively informed +Plastic Electronics that the manufacturing process was not yet ready. In April 2013 the company added that issues with the encapsulation technology (essentially, the flexible alternative to a rigid glass protective cover) were causing delays.

In reality it is likely that Samsung will, at best, launch a smartphone that forgoes the need for a glass cover to protect the screen. Like Youm, the plastic OLED will offer a lightweight and robust alternative to the rigid, glass-based displays that are prone to cracking – as anyone who has dropped an expensive new smartphone or tablet will know only too well.

LG has also attracted plenty of headlines for its announced intentions to launch a phone using a flexible OLED in 2013. However what LG showed at the recent Society for Information Display event in the US was a plastic display that still needs to be encased in glass.


While it may offer marginal weight savings, it is hardly the fundamental change people may be expecting.

Plastic Logic is one company producing flexible displays today, using E Paper,There are options for industries wanting to enjoy the benefits or functional, bendable and shatterproof displays today. UK start-up Plastic Logic produces flexible transistors that can drive a flexible display – at the moment using e-paper (which is compatible in terms of flexibility). E Ink has also released a flexible e-paper display, called Mobius. Flexible e-paper would be a functional choice for everything from displays in smart bank cards to digital signage.

And certainly, there are lots of promising signs regarding the development of flexible displays. The encapsulation technology needed to take OLEDs out of their rigid glass covers is progressing. Once these can be introduced to manufacturing, high-end smartphone makers will boast of the benefits of a lightweight handset and shatterproof screen.

Will the glass-free OLEDs on the horizon graduate to screens wrapped round the corners of a device? And, eventually, a phone you fold up and put in your pocket? That depends not just on technology development but also on whether consumers truly want the ‘bendable phone’ that many media sources excitedly report. Just don’t expect to get one for Christmas 2013.

Dan Rogers, managing editor of +Plastic Electronics magazine, will speak further on the topic of flexible displays at LOPE-C on 11-13 June in Munich, Germany.

Are Legal Battles Ahead for Samsung & LG and Will That Give the Edge to Apple in OLED’s?


Apple Flexible OLED

The reports from the industry already have suggested that Apple with indeed be the first to commercially release a product featuring flexible OLED displays, and although they are certainly not without their own legal disputes with various electronics manufacturers, could this be their window of opportunity to get in first?

Before assuming these reports are accurate – there are suggestions that reports aren’t entirely telling the whole truth about this “raid”.

A spokeswoman from Samsung, Jun Eun Sun is quoted as saying “We have no reason to steal other companies’ technology, as we have the world’s best OLED technology.” LG itself has said that it didn’t report anything to police in connection with the investigation with their spokesman, Son Young Jun saying “The latest investigation is related to large-sized OLED TV panel technology, but the police have made the allegation themselves.”

Of course legal battles alone most certainly do not halt the research, development & production of such technology, and has indeed been the cause of disputes between the companies historically, but it may just be enough to allow Apple the edge. Recently they posted a job advert for a “Display Specialist to lead the investigation on emerging display technologies such as high optical efficiency LCD, AMOLED and flexible display to improve overall display optical performance.”

Flexible being the operative word here, and coupled with their patent for a new shaped iPhone with a “wraparound” display, suggest they are not just on the heels of the two South Korean giants, but firmly in the same race. Indeed they have been for some time – the public release of the Apple patent belies its date of inception – September 2011, way before Samsung’s Brian Berkeley demonstrated and announced their new flexible display. For the record, Apple pulled the job advert fairly quickly, but not before it was noticed by the tech media.

Let’s not also forget that LG are going full-steam ahead to be first to market, with plans to release their first AMOLED flexible display device in the second half of 2013. With all this cloak-and-dagger reports it really would take a company insider to tell the world the reality of what’s going on behind the scenes in the world of flexible OLED tech, and oledflexible.net never like to jump the gun on announcements, but the volume of reports coming out of Asia on a daily basis can only mean that something reasonably big will be announced soon. The burning question is – which company will be the one to make the announcement first, and which product will have the most appeal to the public?