LG to develop 'stretchable' displays for smartphones and TVs by 2024

Mike Wheatley

The South Korean government has commissioned LG Display to develop the concept of “stretchable” displays that can be used in smartphones, car dashboards, wearables and possibly even OLED TVs.


In a press release, LG Display said it is aiming to develop stretchable micro light-emitting diode display products with a 20% elongation rate, and has set itself a target date of 2024.

In other words, you can soon be the owner of a neat-looking smartphone that can be stretched into a much large display, similar to how you’d stretch a rubber band. What with the promised 20% elongation rate, that means a 6-inch device could expand into a 7.2 inch display, should the need arise.

Of course that begs the question, why bother?

Well, flexible displays are the next big thing for smartphone makers in general, with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold leading the market. And LG Display itself has created its rollable OLED television that can be set at various different heights to suit the content being displayed.

LG Display said that stretchable displays are the “ideal next-generation technology” as they can shift in free-form without affecting the quality of the display itself by screen distortion, for example.

"By comparison, existing commercial flexible display technologies such as bendable, foldable, and rollable panels excel only in particular areas or directions,” the company said. “Thus, stretchable displays are considered the final phase of the evolution of flexible displays."

The most likely use for stretchable display tech would seem to be in handheld devices, where it makes more sense to grapple with the screen. For example, if you want to zoom in on an image without losing other details on-screen, you could simply stretch it to do so. The technology might also make it easier to carry larger devices around in your pocket

Stretchable displays might also have applications with augmented reality, for example by manipulating the actual display to change or interact with the content being displayed on screen.

The implications for television are less obvious, but LG Display did surprise us on that front when it introduced its rollable OLED TV.

Stretchable displays aren’t an entirely new concept. Samsung Display rolled out a prototype OLED display that could stretch back in 2017, though that design never become a commercial product.

Whether or not LG Display can keep to its timetable and come up with working stretchable product by 2024 remains to be seen, however.