LG Disply has developed a 12-inch stretchable display that can be extended in size to 14 inches, the company announced. The displays could one day be used in materials with irregular surfaces like clothes and wearables to display messages on the uniforms of first responders, for example.
Stretchable displays, or free-form displays as LG Display calls them, can be pulled, bent and twisted. They go a step farther than the flexible displays used in Samsung's Galaxy Fold and other smartphones, which can be folded and bent but not stretched.
To make the display so stretchy, LG Display built the base substrate material from a silicon similar to that used in contact lenses. It also micro-LEDs smaller than 40-micrometers for the light source, allowing for high resolution and durability. And finally, the company used circuits shaped like springs to accommodate bending and folding.
"The stretchable display’s revolutionary technology offers next-level versatility for various daily scenarios," LG Display wrote. "Easily attachable to curved surfaces such as skin, clothing, furniture, automobiles and aircraft, this unique innovation expands the potential of the display in various industries including fashion, wearables, mobility and gaming."
We've seen stretchable displays in the past from Samsung and others, but the best you could do with those was put a small dent in them. This one appears to go much farther, showing the potential for displays with real potential for wearables. LG Display has been working on the technology since 2020 in collaboration and the research is expected to conclude in 2024.